discrimination

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Governor John Carney has called on Delaware state educators to come up with anti-discrimination policies for transgender students in the public and charter school system.

The memo was sent to Education Secretary Susan Bunting calling for strong regulations that would prohibit unlawful discrimination against these students.

The new regulations are to be made available by November 1st for public comment.

But the Wilmington News Journal reports it is not clear how the state Department of Education would enforce the guidelines if there is noncompliance.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have introduced a resolution calling for Delaware's Department of Education to develop regulations with specific guidelines to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

The resolution says state employment policies and guidelines mandate that government employees not be discriminated against based on gender identity or expression. That includes the right to be called by their preferred names and pronouns, treated with dignity and respect, and allowed to use bathroom facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

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McLEAN, Va. (AP) - A study by professors at George Mason University has found that Virginia's largest school system is far more likely to hire a white teacher applicant than an African-American.

The study, published in the Spring edition of the Harvard Educational Review, found blacks made up 13 percent of all teacher applicants to the Fairfax County school system, but only 6 percent of all job offers.

White applicants, meanwhile, made up 70 percent of applicants but received 77 percent of job offers.

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The Baltimore police force has committed to sweeping policy changes as part of a court-enforceable agreement with the federal government.

The improvement plan was filed in federal court Thursday.

It is meant to require an overhaul in how police officers do their jobs, mandating improvements in stops and searches as well as arrests.

The agreement resolves months of negotiations with the Justice Department, which had identified pervasive constitutional violations.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is touting his record of a growing and diversifying state's economy.

But he warned lawmakers that progress could be undermined by socially conservative legislation on abortion and transgender issues.

McAuliffe's remarks came last night evening at the annual State of the Commonwealth, kicking off the start of the 2017 legislative session.

The Democratic governor asked lawmakers to work with him on helping the state become less dependent on federal defense spending.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Attorneys for the Indian River School District say a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a Sussex County citizens group should be dismissed.

The Coalition for Education Reform claims that the district is using the George Washington Carver Academy, a special education school, as a "punitive dumping ground" for African-American students branded as "troublemakers."

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SNOW HILL, Md. (AP) - A former small-town police chief who claims he was ousted by local officials for refusing to fire two other black officers has been convicted of misconduct in office.

Former Pocomoke City police chief Kelvin Sewell was convicted of misconduct following a trial Thursday and sentenced to probation. A jury acquitted him on a charge of conspiracy.

Sewell and former Pocomoke Police Lt. Lynell Green were indicted in July on misconduct charges relating to a Nov. 21, 2014, crash.

Green is scheduled to be tried Dec. 19.

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The gubernatorial candidates in Delaware appeared yesterday during a town hall at Delaware State University that focused on issues affecting the African American community.

Both Democratic Representative John Carney and Republican State Senate Colin Bonini said that there was a need for greater access to preschool and greater scrutiny of state government for systemic discrimination.

Both said the efforts were needed to deal with high unemployment rate in the community.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department wants to intervene in a private lawsuit brought by Pocomoke City's former police chief and two other black officers alleging race discrimination.

The Justice Department filed the motion to intervene Wednesday in federal court in Baltimore.

msa.maryland.gov

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) - Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman says several people have applied to be the next county sheriff, and there will be a new sheriff in place next month.

James Fitzgerald's last day as sheriff was Saturday. He resigned under pressure after an investigation found he created a hostile work environment by belittling staffers and making racist and sexist comments. Gov. Larry Hogan will appoint his replacement.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore police union has release a list of recommendations for reforms after a scathing Department of Justice report found officers have used excessive force, performed unwarranted arrests and systematically discriminated against African Americans.

The police union's recommendations, released Thursday, include overhauling training curriculum, clarifying policies and procedures, and streamlining use of force standards for all units across the department.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The chairman of Maryland's medical marijuana commission is meeting with Maryland's attorney general to discuss diversity concerns in the state's marijuana licensing process.

Dr. Paul Davies is scheduled to meet with Attorney General Brian Frosh on Tuesday.

Critics have noted a lack of diversity in applicants selected as finalists to grow and process marijuana. Davies wrote last week that the commission is committed to promoting racial diversity in the state's developing medical marijuana industry.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Authorities say 12 people have been arrested while protesting a police conference in Baltimore.

Dozens of protesters gathered Sunday outside a hotel, where the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police is holding its biennial conference this week.

The Baltimore Police Department said in a statement that several of the protesters entered the hotel, chained themselves to a railing and blocked the escalator. Police say the protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing after refusing to leave.

governor.delaware.gov

Frustration has boiled over with a group of Delaware’s African American leaders who have been dissatisfied with the response by Governor Jack Markell to allegations of racism in state government.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Delaware Faith in Action Coalition said last week that they have lost faith in Markell to confront the issue.

Over the last year the group has gotten testimony from around 200 state workers of color who claim that they have faced discrimination.

delaware.state.courts.gov

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A federal judge says a transgender teen shouldn't be blocked from using the boys' bathroom while the school board pursues an appeal in the student's discrimination lawsuit.

The school board immediately filed another appeal.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert G. Doumar ordered the Gloucester County School Board in June to let Gavin Grimm use the boys' bathroom while the court considers his case.

First State Towing website

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Chancery Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Delaware State Police by a woman who runs a towing company.

Katharine Morris of First State Towing claimed in the lawsuit that state officials unlawfully excluded her in selecting companies for towing assignments, favoring male-owned businesses instead.

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The family of Jeremy McDole is suing the city of Wilmington after he was shot to death by police while in a wheel chair because he was paralyzed with a gun by his side.

The suit alleges that the deadly shooting result of racial discrimination claiming that if McDole had been white police might not have shot him.

The Wilmington News Journal reports the 28-year McDole was shot a number of times by four officers three of whom were white and the fourth was Hispanic.  

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A federal lawsuit has been filed against Pocomoke City officials and law enforcement charging racial discrimination.

The suit was brought by former Police Chief Kelvin Sewell, the town’s first black chief, along with former Officer Franklin Savage and Lt. Lynell Green who is still on the force.

They claim that they faced discrimination and retaliation during their time on the force.

The Pocomoke City manager Ernie Crofoot told WBOC that he was reviewing the lawsuit and would not have any comment.

news.delaware.gov

The new Labor Secretary in Delaware has gotten high praise from a coalition of ministers and the NAACP after accusations have swirled around agency of racist atmosphere in the agency.

Patrice Gilliam-Johnson is African American and has known Governor Jack Markell for decades.

She is chairwoman of the Organizational Dynamics program at Wilmington University.

The appointment comes after 73 year-old John McMahon announced his retirement as his agency faced accusations of racism in a report by the coalition of ministers.

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Discrimination against state employees was the subject of a closed door meeting yesterday between Governor Jack Markell and a coalition of Delaware leaders from the African American community.

They presented him with a report drawn from testimony by state employees that says there is rampant racism within state government.

The Wilmington News Journal says that the report makes six recommendations on how agencies deal with discrimination in the office.

Last year, the group took testimony from around a 100 state workers across Delaware.

Wicomico Public Schools logo

The discrimination lawsuit against the Wicomico County Public School system is finally over.

The suit brought by Stacy Messick and Stephanie Moses saw the judge in the case issue a summary judgment for the school board in September.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the school district issued an email noted that the case is no longer pending.

The paper reports that attempts to contact the plaintiffs’ lawyer were unsuccessful.

The two said they complained about the alleged discrimination and that their work environment became worse.

casino website

BALTIMORE (AP) - A federal lawsuit filed against Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore claims contracts for the construction of the casino were not sufficiently awarded to minority businesses, even though the project received federal housing funds earmarked for that purpose.

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Settlement talks are scheduled in a lawsuit filed by a former white university cabinet member against the historically black University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that an agreement has been reached over discovery evidence as a precursor to the settlement discussions between the university and Ronald Nykiel.

The settlement discussions followed the judge’s denial of a motion by the university to dismiss the case.

The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney’s fees and the costs of the legal action.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A coalition of pastors and the NAACP that is investigating accusations of discrimination in state government is beginning to seek testimony at hearings in Kent and Sussex counties.
 
The Wilmington News Journal  reports that the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, a coalition of churches in the Dover area, and the Central Delaware NAACP have joined black pastors in New Castle County to conduct the hearings starting Tuesday.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is issuing statewide guidelines to prevent discriminatory profiling by law enforcement based on race, gender and other characteristics.

Frosh has scheduled a Tuesday news conference about the initiative. He says the guidelines are similar to ones issued in December by the U.S. Justice Department, which called on states to adopt their own. Frosh says Maryland is the first state to issue its own guidance.

He says it goes further than current Maryland law, but departments would have to adopt the policies.

Towson University website

BALTIMORE (AP) - A judge has ruled that a Towson University football player who suffered a near fatal heatstroke two years ago cannot be prevented from rejoining his team on the field.

U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett ruled Friday that the university must allow 22-year-old lineman Gavin Class to start practice Aug. 9 with the rest of the team.

Class filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against the university in May after Towson barred him from outdoor practices with the team, citing the severity of his earlier injury.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is holding its first public forum since the agency began an investigation into whether the Baltimore Police Department has habitually violated the civil rights of Baltimore's citizens.
 
The Justice Department held the forum Thursday at the University of Baltimore Law School, where residents were invited to speak individually with agency attorneys about their experiences with the police.
 

CNN

With the Baltimore riots fading from national view Delamrva Public Radio's George Merrill ponders the word discrimination.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - One Delaware county is barring government-funded travel to Indiana over a new religious-objections law that has raised concerns that gays and lesbians could face discrimination.

New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon signed an executive order Wednesday, saying the county is reviewing travel plans for all employees. Gordon says he's not aware of any upcoming government trips to the state, but the order was meant to send a message.

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