|Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules in favor of Coalition for Educating Black Children|
|Tuesday, May 08, 2012|
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion Monday (May 7) in Everett et al. v. Pitt County Board of Education affirming the efforts of African-American parents and community members to stop Pitt County Schools from implementing its 2011-2012 student reassignment plan. The Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill represented the Pitt Coalition for Educating Black Children and several parents of children attending Pitt County Schools.
“This is a great victory for the people,” said Mark Dorosin, managing attorney at the center. “The court affirmed what decades of desegregation law, from Brown vs. Board of Education to the present, require: that a school district that remains under a desegregation order has an affirmative duty to eliminate the vestiges of racial discrimination, and until the court rules that the district has fulfilled that duty, current racial disparities are presumed to be the result of the past unconstitutional conduct.”
The Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s August 2011 decision and remanded the case back to the district court for “reconsideration and, if appropriate, further development of the record,” with instruction that the burden is on the school board to establish that the 2011-2012 assignment plan moves the district toward unitary status.
“We will continue to stand up for our children,” said Melissa Grimes, a named plaintiff and elected officer of the coalition. “It is so good to have the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals stand up for them with us today.”
For further background on the case, see http://blogs.law.unc.edu/civilrights/2012/01/27/unc-center-for-civil-rights-argues-pitt-county-school-desegregation-case-in-us-court-of-appeals/
Center for Civil Rights contact: Mark Dorosin, (919) 225-3809, (919) 843-7896