Some Elmhurst Parents Sue FWCS

By Scott Sarvay
By Laura Donaldson

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 20, 2010 at 6:12 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - Some Elmhurst parents are suing Fort Wayne community school officials.

Some Elmhurst parents and alumni have created a group, Save Our School: Elmhurst High School or SOS: EHS and they along with their attorney filed a lawsuit against FWCS Tuesday.

“I think it's illegal, not unfair,” SOS:EHS’ attorney Robert Vegeler said. “A lot of things are unfair in life, but this is illegal.”

Vegeler says FWCS officials are illegally transferring Elmhurst students to lower achieving schools and made an un-educated decision to close Elmhurst.

He says it's unconstitutional to send Elmhurst students to Wayne, North Side and South Side because these schools have been identified as some of the state's chronically low achieving schools. This, he argues, is violating the student's right to quality education under the Indiana Constitution.

Officials with FWCS told Indiana’s NewsCenter last week the decision to close the school was financial, not academic.

Vegeler says the school board may have made and un-educated and un-informed decision.

“We're not sure what information they had, but we sure as heck don't think they made and objectively logical decision based upon the choices they had,” Vegeler said. “And what they have done is they haven't looked and analyzed the information that is public information. That's the point.”

If the parents win and Elmhurst remains open then school officials won’t be able to save the $1.6 million dollars they intended to save. But Vegeler says they don’t have to worry about paying their attorney additional fees.

“I talked to the general council for the Fort Wayne Community Schools yesterday,” Vegeler said. “He is on a salary. I didn't get any indication from him that they are going to hire outside council so he's getting paid for this no matter what.”

The school is scheduled to close at the end of this school year. But, Vegeler is trying to put the suit on the fast track to been seen by a judge very soon.

We’ll continue to follow this story as it unfolds.

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