The defendants have denied the allegations in court records. The city of Meridian said in a court filing that it asked for examples of specific violations, but only received ‘‘bare bones’’ conclusions with no examples.
This city also said that it told the Justice Department weeks before the lawsuit was filed that the police department amended its policy so that officers would only respond to calls from the school for felonies, physical violence, weapons, illegal drugs or a judge’s order. Officers are no longer supposed to transport a juvenile from school grounds unless the officer witnessed the offense.
Lauderdale County youth court judges Frank Coleman and Veldore Young also denied the allegations, saying they never revoke a student’s probation or parole for tardiness or absences alone and that they follow Mississippi law.
The defendants in the lawsuit are the city of Meridian, Lauderdale County, the two Lauderdale County Youth Court judges, the Mississippi Department of Human Services and DHS’s Division of Youth Services.
The Meridian Public School District is not named as a defendant, but the lawsuit says incarceration is used as a ‘‘medium for school discipline.’’
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