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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 25, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Racial discrimination case has been settled for $200K

Eight years after Epiphany Kearney was allegedly spit on, hit and threatened with violence and racial slurs while riding the bus to Dewitt Middle School, the court battle between Kearney’s mother, Amelia, and the Ithaca City School District has been resolved.

The $200,000 settlement was announced by the city school district Tuesday, after the Board of Education approved the settlement.

Amelia Kearney filed a lawsuit against the district, but it was dismissed by the Tompkins County Supreme Court in 2009. The state’s human rights division determined in May of 2009 that Kearney’s rights had been violated and the school district was at fault. The Kearneys were then awarded $250,000, but in 2011 the district successfully appealed the decision.

After the district’s legal counsel was notified that Kearney intended to file a claim in federal court, the settlement was negotiated.

Robert Ainslie, Board of Education president, said in a statement that the school district was ready to settle the issues.

“We think now is the time to bring this matter to a close,” Ainslie said.