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Alabama School Allowing Parents to Choose Classmates and Teachers, Sued For Segregation

Parents of students enrolled in the Troy School District of Alabama are suing a local elementary school for allegedly instituting segregation under the guise of parental choice. The school allows parents to choose their child’s teachers and classmates. The court has not decided whether the school deliberately segregated the students or whether it was the outcome of the parental choice program and voluntary student affiliations. However, what is evident is that the school became mostly segregated by race.

A report released earlier today shows that John Johnson, lead plaintiff and father of a student enrolled in the elementary school, sued the Troy City Board of Education, five school board members and two school administrators. 62% of the 2,087 students at the elementary school are black.

According to the complaint, as soon as parental choice was instituted, segregation manifested immediately. In its first year in 2009, there were six all black classrooms in Kindergarten through second grade. By 2010, there were seven all black classrooms in Kindergarten through second grade. In 2011, 18 classes from Kindergarten through sixth grade were all black.

The lawsuit also indicates that in the 2009-2010 academic year, 80 percent of classes with all-black students were taught by black teachers. "This occurred despite the fact that African-American teachers consist of only 22 percent of the teacher pool for the Troy City School District.”

The complaint further alleges that the school acted deliberately in segregating the races, even denying requests; "In a few instances the Troy City School District disregarded requests by Caucasian parents to place their child with African-American teachers."

This report was unable to find a public response from the school district.

Sources: Court House News, UPI


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