Black college students in Denver are suing the college district, saying it’s attempting to “steal” their podcast identify “Know Justice, Know Peace.”
The lawsuit says the scholars, who created the racial justice podcast “Know Justice, Know Peace” following George Floyd’s homicide in 2020, made “an on the spot hit” that received the eye of media retailers together with the “Immediately” present, The Denver Publish reported.
The group — composed of 4 Black present and former college students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early Faculty — sued Denver Public Faculties in federal court docket on Monday. The district filed three trademark purposes, together with one state software and two federal purposes, for the identify, in line with the lawsuit.
A Colorado trademark registration referenced in reporting by Chalkbeat Colorado reveals the district described the sequence as “providing details about inequities within the instructional system [and] offering options for implementing, enhancing, [and] sustaining fairness.”
The lawsuit described an irony within the district’s effort to trademark the identify.
“The irony of DPS’s makes an attempt … is that DPS has for years fallen method brief on Black historical past, racial justice and training round these vital points,” the lawsuit stated. “That their newly discovered and considerably tardy want to handle racial points needed to come on this kind is a tragic commentary on the state of DPS.”
A spokesperson for Denver Public Faculties, after initially not offering remark “because of the pending litigation,” informed HuffPost that the district seems ahead to the authorized course of and “clearing up any misinformation that’s within the criticism.”
“It’s unlucky that Mr. Jeffrey Kass [the student’s attorney] has misrepresented the info and legislation in an try to push the narrative that DPS did something aside from assert its rights by the authorized course of,” the spokesperson wrote.
“We’re upset that we had been unable to come back to a mutually agreeable decision with these college students, and we stay open to additional discussions.”
District Deputy Superintendent Anthony Smith met with college students and their dad and mom in an effort to “coerce and bully” them into saying the district owned the trademark, in line with the lawsuit.
“Notably, it’s your shoppers who’re responsible for trademark infringement,” the district’s lawyer stated in a letter to the scholars’ lawyer.
Chalkbeat reported that an lawyer for the district despatched a letter in August to former principal Kimberly Grayson, who was concerned within the podcast’s creation, concerning her registration of a enterprise named “Know Justice, Know Peace: The Take LLC.”
The letter, which Chalkbeat stated it obtained by a public data request, stated the identify belonged to Denver Public Faculties and described the podcast as produced with district tools on its property.
Grayson stated in an e-mail to district employees obtained by Chalkbeat that she registered the enterprise as a result of she had left the college and the scholars wished to report the podcast independently.
She wrote that the district was contradicting itself for expressing its stance on fairness whereas additionally saying it “OWNS 4 Black younger girls’ picture, voice, and content material,” in line with Chalkbeat.