The parent of two New Hope Academy Charter School students filed a lawsuit against the York City School District on Friday, alleging the district committed several violations of the Sunshine Act in the past two months.

Montez Parker said he filed the complaint to stand up for his children.

"We're not being treated fair," he said. "If I don't stand up for my kids, who will?"

The lawsuit, filed in the York County Court of Common Pleas, alleges the district failed to hold a valid school board meeting on March 19, because the board did not allow several members of the public to speak during the public comment portion, including students and parents from New Hope.

"Essentially, they shut down anyone's ability to speak," said Sean Summers, the attorney representing Parker.

The lawsuit also claims the district held secret negotiations and meetings to renew the Helen Thackston Charter School agreement, which was approved by the board in February.

Court documents allege the school board met behind closed doors to set up the terms of the agreement, and that those meetings should have been held in public so members of the community could give feedback.

The lawsuit asks the court to require the district to invalidate the Helen Thackston charter renewal, invalidate all actions taken at the March 19 school board meeting, order that the school comply with the Sunshine Act, assess fines related to Sunshine Act violations and pay for attorney costs and court fees.

York City School District solicitor Jeff Gettle did not immediately return call for comment.

The Sunshine Act guarantees residents and taxpayers "a reasonable opportunity" to comment at each advertised meeting of public agencies, such as school boards.

-- Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.