By Dave Warner
Aug 14 (Reuters) - Seven students at a Camden, New Jersey, school forced to eat lunch on a gymnasium floor for two weeks as punishment won a $500,000 legal settlement, their attorney said on Tuesday.
The 2008 incident involved fifth-grade students at the Charles Sumner Elementary School who were disciplined after one child spilled water as he tried to lift a jug onto a cooler, said the lawyer, Alan Schorr.
The students filed a federal lawsuit against the Camden Board of Education, which agreed to the settlement, the attorney said.
He said the incident took place against a backdrop of discord between the black and Hispanic populations in the impoverished southern New Jersey city. The children were Hispanic.
Schorr said the vice principal, who was black, punished all 15 students in a bilingual class by making them eat off paper liners normally used on lunch trays. (While there were 15 students in the class, only seven sued.)
"The African American kids were eating at tables, with trays, taunting these Hispanic kids who were forced to eat on the ground," Schorr said.
The vice principal has since transferred.
The children's teacher was fired after encouraging them to tell their parents about the punishment. The teacher won a $75,000 settlement earlier.
Neither school officials nor their lawyers could be reached for comment. (Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Ciro Scotti)
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place