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DUDLEY v. BOARD OF CITY TRUSTS OF PHILADELPHIA

June 27, 1973

Judith A. DUDLEY et al.
v.
BOARD OF CITY TRUSTS OF the CITY OF PHILADELPHIA et al.


Huyett, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: HUYETT

Huyett, District Judge.

 Plaintiffs, citizens of New Jersey, are the mothers of children enrolled in and residing at Girard College, a free primary and secondary school for poor male orphan boys founded in 1831 under the Will of Stephen Girard *fn1" and located in Philadelphia. Although the plaintiffs' children are not named in the caption of the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they bring this action on their own behalf, on behalf of their children and on behalf of a class of mothers and guardians whose children also are enrolled in and residing at Girard College. *fn2" The complaint is in two counts. Count I is premised on diversity of citizenship, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)(1) (1970), the plaintiff class representatives being citizens of New Jersey, and all the defendants, Board of City Trusts of the City of Philadelphia (Board) and its members, being citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The requisite jurisdictional amount is also alleged. Count II is premised on 28 U.S.C. § 1343 (1970) with relief requested pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (1970).

 I

 In Count I plaintiffs allege that they have as a condition precedent to the admission of their sons to Girard College signed an agreement with the defendant Board. The agreement *fn3" relinquishes legal custody and control of plaintiffs' sons to the Board, which is required thereunder, plaintiffs allege, to maintain and educate each boy according to the provisions and in the manner and under all of the regulations and restrictions specified in the Will of Stephen Girard. Among the regulations, restrictions and benefits alleged to be accorded to the children enrolled at Girard College are the following: (1) a better education as well as more comfortable maintenance than they usually receive from the application of the public funds, (2) competent and sufficient educators and staff, (3) safe and decent lodging, board and care, and (4) a program of sound moral teachings. It is further alleged that defendants have breached the agreement in the following manner:

 
(1) Hiring and continuing to support an administration which has caused and tolerated the quality of education at Girard College to degenerate.
 
(3) Hiring and continuing to support as President of Girard College, defendant Gayle K. Lawrence, who has conducted himself in such a manner as to present a threat to the health, safety and morals of the children enrolled at Girard College.
 
(4) Failing to outline or enforce disciplinary policies which has resulted in the complete deterioration of the educational and moral development of Girard College students and has resulted in an immediate threat to the safety and morals of said children.
 
(5) Causing and tolerating, and, in the case of defendant Lawrence, participating in arbitrary and brutal physical treatment of the students without notice of any standards of conduct violated and hearing on said violations.
 
(6) Causing the closing of Girard College resulting in the voluntary abandonment of defendants obligations as legal guardians of plaintiffs without court approval or due process of law.

 The complaint as to Count I seeks the following relief:

 
(1) Damages in excess of $10,000.00 be awarded to each of the named plaintiffs and for ...

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