Thursday, January 29, 2009

So let's play the game...AGAIN!

I was under the impression that the objective of the Jefferson Parish attorneys and school board officials was to have Jefferson Parish Public School system to become unitary. A year ago they were willing to sacrifice a few students by removing them from their present magnet school to attend "God knows what" school just not the school on the opposite side of their residence. Today Judge Engelhardt declared to the attorneys that their efforts working with the school board and parents may have paid off and the public schools in Jefferson will come under School Board control very soon!

There however is one sticky part. The Judge said that there was no reason to order the Mississippi River be set as a dividing line within the parish. Separating the parish by the river is akin to "creating a binary system" which is contrary to the consent order designed to eliminate segregation within the parish and create a unitary system. It was clear to all present, particularly Mrs. Mathis, Assistant to the Superintendant, that such an action was counter productive and that if a parent wishes to send their child to a school on the opposite side of the river from their residence they would be allow provide that parent understand that transportation would only be provide from their home to the nearest Magnet School. How hard is that to understand!!

Well attorneys are still singing that same song and dancing the same dance they did a year ago and I hope they are justifiably reprimanded. Parents are making plans to sent their children to a good school, but due to recent misrepresentation of this latest order some are still uncertain.

I beg of the school board and attorneys lay down your arms. You have presented the evidence in court yourself. Only about 50 or 60 students have been attending Magnet schools on the opposite side of the river from their residence. It has been 6 years since these schools have been opened. This can hardly be described as an effort by parents to "resegregate" themselves...a genuine fear expressed by the attorneys. Remember, approximately 20 of these students are Black.

Let this be the last word...until the next school board meeting:

"Space permitting, a student’s parent will be afforded an election to choose the elementary advanced studies academy in which to enroll his/her child. The school system will provide transportation where a student is enrolled in the elementary advanced studies academy in closest proximity to the home of the student’s parent or guardian."

So ordered, Judge Kurt Engelhardt

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