Cleveland, Mississippi’s school board rejected a court-ordered plan to desegregate its secondary schools, The Washington Post reports.
This legal battle has been ongoing for more than five decades. It appeared to be over in May when a federal district court ordered the district to consolidate its Black and White secondary schools.
But school board members voted to appeal the order, arguing that its open-enrollment has achieved a higher degree of racial integration than other Southern schools have achieved through court-ordered integration. Under the district’s open-enrollment policy, students are free to attend the school of their choice.
“Choice has worked well for the district in the last 50 years,” Jamie Jacks, a lawyer for the school board, told The Post.
According to the newspaper, the city’s “Black” high school is largely all-black. However, the historically White high school is evenly divided by race. A consolidated school would enroll about 1,100 students — two-thirds of them Black. But the school district warned that meddling with the current balance would cause another round of White flight.
The decision to reject the court’s plan was not unanimous. Jacks told The Post that its three White members voted to appeal, and the two Black members wanted to accept the court-ordered plan.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty