Attorney Tamara N. Holder To File Discrimination Lawsuit Against Illinois High School Glenbard North

3.4 GPA Student & Community Volunteer Expelled For Scuffle; Study Shows Blacks in DuPage County Expelled Nine Times as High as Counterparts, Highest in State of Illinois

CHICAGO, IL – January, 2008 – Tamara N. Holder, Esq., announced today that she will be planning to file a discrimination lawsuit against Glenbard High School in DuPage County, for alleged discrimination and wrongful expulsion for and on behalf of Maya Oquendo, daughter of 1993 Golden Gloves Heavyweight Champion, Fres Oquendo who recently fought Evander Holyfield in 2006.

Maya is a 3.4 GPA sophomore student, of African American/Puerto Rican heritage and a family that upholds traditional values. She is currently on the track team and Pom squad, and is a community volunteer, who recently did an overnight cancer-walk. Well liked by students and teachers, she was expelled this month for a scuffle that was alleged instigated by a white, female student who has not been expelled for this incident. She was also arrested, handcuffed and taken to Carol Stream police. Maya has never been in trouble before or had any previous disciplinary problems.

The Oquendo family has retained the services of Attorney and community activist, Tamara N. Holder who commented. “The obvious discrimination is absolutely sickening and the school should be ashamed. A child, with no history of violence or disciplinary problems should not lose her right to an education for a minor scuffle where there were no injuries.”

This incident sheds a bright light on the cruel disparity between African-American children being dismissed from school. A recent article in the Chicago Tribune by Howard Witt entitled, “School Discipline Tougher on African Americans,” dated October 25, 2007 stated that Illinois is one of 21 states where the percentage of black suspensions is more than double their percentage of the student body.

Furthermore, according to a September 24, 2007 Chicago Tribune article by Stephanie Banchero “Disparity found in Chicago area” it was noted that: The expulsion disparity was greatest in DuPage County, where blacks were expelled at a rate nine times as high as whites. African-Americans represent only 6 percent of the public school population in DuPage, yet they accounted for 32 percent of all the students kicked out last year, the data showed.

About Tamara N. Holder:
Tamara N. Holder, Esq., [] is one of Chicago’s rising legal analytical stars. She gained national attention for fighting for the rights of railroad workers who were fired in the name of “homeland security” which led to a Congressional hearing.  She most recently filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago and its Chicago Police officers for illegal searches at the Harold Ickes Homes.  Her law firm specializes in criminal defense, expungement cases, malpractice and personal injury lawsuits. Ms. Holder sits on the Women of Power Alumni Association Advisory Board; and is also the founder of Rev. Jesse L. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Expungement Clinic. 

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