Juvenile Law Center, along with co-counsel Education Law Center-Pa, challenged a provision of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act that barred Philadelphia adjudicated youth from returning to their regular public schools after they were discharged from residential delinquency placements. Plaintiffs were required to attend alternative disciplinary schools for disruptive students that offered no interscholastic sports and limited academic opportunities. Juvenile Law Center challenged the law, which targeted only Philadelphia adjudicated youth, as violative of both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States Constitution.
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas rejected plaintiffs’ challenge. Juvenile Law Center appealed to the Commonwealth Court, which overruled the lower court and ruled the statutory provision unconstitutional.