- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A civil rights group contends city schools in Dothan disproportionately punish black students and students with disabilities.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery filed a complaint Tuesday with the U.S. Education Department’s office for civil rights. It claims the southeast Alabama school system routinely violates the rights of students who are black or have disabilities.

The organization says black students represent about 55 percent of the district’s students, but 100 percent of the students who were expelled this year are black. It says 85 percent of the students removed from classes for disciplinary purposes are black.

School superintendent Charles Ledbetter says the system disputes many of the allegations in the complaint.

The complaint comes after the school board failed to use policy recommendations from the organization.

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