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UNION CITY — A Union City school district will be forced to pay $725,000 to the families of 12 African-American students who accused the district of not protecting them from racial harassment and violence, leading to the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old classmate.

The suit alleged that the New Haven Unified School District ignored years of complaints that the Decoto gang, predominantly Latino, was entering campuses and attacking Black students.

In December 2007, Vernon Eddins was shot and killed on the steps of Barnard-White Middle School. Police described his attackers as young Latino men but have yet to make an arrest.

The $725,000 settlement, which comprises attorneys’ fees, also includes the requirement for high school students and visitors to carry identification on campus, the launch of a class on “restorative remedial justice” that includes issues of gang violence, and the training of teachers on gang-related issues.



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