Court Showdown Over Boston “Zip Code Quota Plan” And Concealment of School Committee Anti-White Texts
Parents group: “… if the motivation behind the Zip Code Quota Plan was truly based on something other than race (as Defendants and Intervenors have repeatedly claimed), why cover up these racially motivated messages?”
On Friday, July 9, 2021, at 3 p.m., U.S. District Court Judge William Young is scheduled to hold a hearing on whether the Boston School Committee improperly concealed anti-white and anti-asian text messages and thereby deceived Judge Young into finding that the “Zip Code Quota Plan” had no racist intent.
We covered the background to the dispute in a recent post, Leaked School Committee Texts Showing Anti-White Bias May Reopen Boston “Zip Code Quota Plan” Case.
You can read the Memorandum In Support of Motion for Relief From Judgment for the allegations of misconduct (emphasis added):
New evidence, in the form of highly relevant text messages between two members of the Boston School Committee, has recently come to light. These text messages have long been in the possession of the City of Boston, and should be been provided to the Boston Parents in response to its public records request and should have been made a part of the agreed-upon record in this case when the Court originally considered it. But the City, instead, concealed the messages, thereby depriving the Boston Parents and the Court of the opportunity to consider them. The reason for the City’s actions can and must be inferred from the content of the concealed evidence: the text messages show clear racial motivation and anti-White racism on the part of two School Committee members who were leading proponents of the Zip Code Quota Plan. In fact, the content of this previously suppressed evidence is so damning that both members have now been forced to resign.
hese facts are unique. They warrant the relief sought, and they elevate the Boston Parents’ request beyond that of other Rule 60 motions. As this memorandum explains, the Boston Parents timely exercised their rights under state law to obtain copies of these and other text messages exchanged between members of the School Committee during the meeting where the Zip Code Quota Plan was adopted. But when the School Committee responded to that request, it deliberately concealed clearly racist statements, first, by deleting racist portions of text messages from what it claimed was a “transcript” of text messages, and, second, by misrepresenting that it had produced complete records when it knew that it had not. This prejudice was further compounded when neither the City of Boston nor the individual Defendants came clean when it came time to provide this Court with an agreed-upon record. It was only after the Boston Globe published leaked copies of the offensive texts that the City of Boston finally produced them to the Boston Parents, long after this Court issued its decision in this case. That is what prompts this Motion.
When the School Committee lawyers asked for more time to respond, Judge Young denied the request (bold in original):
Judge William G. Young: ELECTRONIC ORDER entered denying 115 Motion for Extension of Time to August 17, 2021 to File Opposition to Rule 60 Motion and Continue Hearing (Partially Assented-To) by Brenda Cassellius, Hardin Coleman, Ernani DeAraujo, Michael O’Neil, Alexandra Oliver-Davila, Lorna Rivera, Jeri Robinson, The School Committee of the City of Boston, Quoc Tran. Motion denied. The Plaintiffs’ Rule 60b motion raises profound and most serious allegations – potentially fraud on the Court. It must be addressed via a detailed written explanation (preferably accompanied by affidavits) and an oral hearing – and soon. (Gaudet, Jennifer) (Entered: 07/02/2021)
On July 6, after what must have been a pretty miserable holiday weekend, the School Committee filed its Opposition To Motion for Relief From Judgment:
On June 22, 2021, the Coalition moved under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) to reopen the Judgment entered by this Court in Boston Parent Coalition for Academic Excellence, Corp. v. The School Committee of the City of Boston, No. 21-CV-10330-WGY, 2021 WL 1422827 (D. Mass. Apr. 15, 2021), and which is now pending on appeal before the First Circuit. See No. 21- 1303. The Coalition asserts that BPS had a legal obligation to disclose certain text messages between members of the Boston School Committee and that its failure to do so requires that the judgment be reopened. BPS opposes the Motion on the grounds that there has been no violation that triggers the application of Rule 60(b), as it had no legal obligation to produce or provide the text messages to the Coalition and there was no direct or indirect cover up of those text messages. Further, those text messages do not provide a basis for any change of this Court’s decision as required by Rule 60(b).
The details of the School Committee’s opposition is fairly confused and convoluted. The heart of the defense is that the text messages were not withheld from legal discovery in the case, but in a public records request from a person they claim they did not know was affiliated with the plaintiffs in the case. They also deny any improper redactions, and say that if the plaintiffs were not happy with what they were given, they should have appealed pursuant to the public records law.
A group of Intervenors supporting the School Comittee made similar arguments in Intervenor’s Memorandum in Opposition To Motion for Relief From Judgment.
The plaintiffs pretty much ripped these defense to shreds in their Reply filed on July 8, Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion for Relief From Judgment.
The gist of the Reply is that no appeal under the public records law was taken because they didn’t know that documents had been withheld and a false transcript (allegedly) given to them. That deception, they claim, led them to enter into a stipulated record in the case rather than the normal discovery process which likely would have uncovered the problem. The case was submitted to the Judge on that stipulated record, so the Judge did not have all the evidence and in fact was deceived into thinking there was no evidence of racial animus. What the plaintiffs request is not for the Judge now to rule on the merits, but to reopen the case and let them take normal litigation discovery.
From the Reply:
Exiting the March 2021 virtual hearing, the Boston Parents were also “pleased” that the parties were able to negotiate what appeared to be a robust joint statement of undisputed facts that included relevant documents obtained from the City of Boston through public records requests. The documents produced by the City included what the Boston Parents were led to believe were complete transcripts of requested text messages between School Committee Members, including Vice-Chairperson AlexandraOliver-Davila and Member Lorna Rivera. Exhibit 72. On that basis, the Boston Parents were pleased to proceed on the closed, agreed-upon record with no further discovery. Had the Boston Parents known then what we all know now, namely that, in creating those transcripts, the City of Boston intentionally omitted racist text messages, they never would have so agreed. Instead, the Boston Parents would have insisted on conducting discovery, not only to obtain the full text message records but, perhaps more importantly, to discover why the City’s officials were motivated to cover up these racist messages and what else they may be hiding.
These images, showing the transcript of a key text message next to the (leaked) actual text seems pretty devastating. From the Reply:
The text message transcripts did not show redactions on their face. There was no stamp of “redacted,” or some other marking to show where it had made the decision to rip text messages out from the very conversation being transcribed. The below screenshots demonstrate that the statements “Wait til the white racists start yelling st [sic] us! And “Whatever . . . they are delusional” were omitted without any marking whatsoever:
I don’t make predictions. But I do expect that Judge Young will reopen the case and allow plaintiffs to partake in the normal discovery litigation process to answer this question raised in the Reply:
…. if the motivation behind the Zip Code Quota Plan was truly based on something other than race (as Defendants and Intervenors have repeatedly claimed), why cover up these racially motivated messages?
Judge Withdraws Opinion Dismissing Boston Zip Code Quota Plan Case – “I’ve Been Misled” By Concealment of Anti-White Text MessagesDONATE
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