By Melissa Gray, CNN
(CNN) - Two advocacy groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday alleging a North Carolina school district's treatment of three Latino families was discriminatory because it did not provide important information in Spanish.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Children's Services, a project of Legal Aid of North Carolina, filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Civil Rights.
They say that in the cases of three students and their Spanish-speaking parents, the Wake County Public School System failed to provide documents about the students' suspensions in Spanish.
That meant the parents, who speak limited English, were unable to ask questions or even appeal the suspensions, which discriminated against them on the basis of national origin and violated their civil rights, the groups say.
The school district responded by saying it has many programs in place to support and inform Latino and Spanish-speaking families. It also provided forms in Spanish,including notification of suspension, a form for parents to request information on disciplinary actions, and confirmation that a parent has made an appeal.