Please see below a message from Raun Rasmussen, Executive Director of Legal Services NYC, on the wonderful work by Nelson Mar, a senior education law attorney at Bronx Legal Services and a member of AABANY’s own Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and his colleagues at Legal Services for New York City, which is AABANY’s collaborator in providing pro bono opportunities to our members and offering pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic violence. Congratulations to everyone involved in this important case!
I’m writing to highlight a landmark settlement in education policy won by Nancy Bedard (Brooklyn), Tara Foster (Queens), and Chris Lamb, Nelson Mar and Nanette Schorr, (Bronx), along with co-counsel from Cuti Hecker Wang, in T.H. et al. v. Farina, et al. The decision puts an end to the unnecessary and harmful practice of sending students who experience emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric events to the emergency room. Under a settlement approved by the U.S. District Court on Monday, the NYC Department of Education will now implement new protocols to avoid unnecessary 911 calls and better train NYC public school staff to de-escalate, rather than aggravate, encounters with children who are struggling.
Our litigation team represented 11 children and their parents in this case. The settlement is a win not only for these children and their parents, but for student rights and health throughout NYC public schools. Working together across the City, our advocates have had an enormous positive impact on the lives of those who need us most. As the year draws to a close, we look forward to even more successes in 2015.
The settlement has already garnered media attention in WNYC, the Wall Street Journal, and NY1. I encourage everyone to have a look at the coverage below. Great work team!
Links to coverage:
WNYC: City Agrees to Stop Schools from Using 911 for Discipline
Wall Street Journal: Students Suit Settled in New York City
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2014
Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
NEW YORK – October 20, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that Government Service & Public Interest Committee Co-Chair Katrina Goyco has been named one of Legal Services NYC’s Top 30 Pro Bono Lawyers of 2014 for her tireless efforts on an AABANY U-Visa initiative for immigrant victims of domestic violence. Katrina will be honored at Legal Services NYC’s Volunteer Reception on Thursday, October 23, 2014, hosted by WilmerHale.
Launched by AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest Committee in conjunction with Legal Services NYC, the U-Visa initiative began in June 2014 to provide immigration relief for low-income survivors of domestic violence. The initiative trained pro bono lawyers on the step-by-step process of U-Visa application, the first step to a naturalization path for undocumented victims of qualifying crimes, as well as how to work with victims of mental, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Ms. Goyco headed the efforts to match pre-screened survivors with attorneys and law students who could help them prepare their narratives and offer legal advice through the difficult-to-navigate path to citizenship.
“AABANY is fortunate to have someone as dedicated to the public interest as Katrina Goyco is to be among its members and its leadership,” says Executive Director Yang Chen. “When the Government Service and Public Interest Committee first brought this project to AABANY’s attention, it was received with much enthusiasm. Without the energy and dedication of Katrina as the Committee’s co-chair, the project would have just remained an idea. Through her efforts, the U-Visa project now helps many deserving members of the community get the legal assistance they need. We are pleased and proud to be working with Legal Services NYC on this important initiative, and we are grateful to Katrina for all that she has done to bring this project to fruition. Congratulations, Katrina!”
For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org
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