One by one, parents and other members of the of the African American community, took the stand in District Court and pleaded for a seat at the table in the Huntsville desegregation case.
More than a half century since her grandfather sued to end dual schooling in Huntsville, Catherine Hereford took the witness stand in an attempt to fill his shoes.Everybody has a seat at the table except those who are impacted the most
"I want to continue the work my grandfather did and see it through to completion," Hereford told U.S. District Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala on Monday in a crowded federal courtroom in downtown Huntsville
At stake is who gets a seat in the negotiations to end the city's long-running desegregation case.
"Since the filing of the Consent Decree in this case, the DOJ has failed to adequately represent the interests of African-American students in the Huntsville City Schools," reads the motion filed Friday.Not surprisingly Huntsville City Schools and the DOJ want to keep it that way
"Please don't put us in a position that it's so unwieldy we cannot deal with," said J.R. Brooks, the school board attorney, in his closing appeal to the judge. He said that four new plaintiffs could open the door to even more new plaintiffs.
And the Judge thinks it's "growing pains"?
The SPLC repeatedly commended the proposed consent order's objectives and efforts but argued it "does not comprehensively address many of the issues with HCS discipline procedures and practices, nor has the court been fully apprised of the issues during this litigation."So here Black Parents and Community leaders go again. Pleading to be heard. Pleading for a seat at the table. Pleading to be treated like human beings. My question is why do we have to beg?
The Montgomery-based organization concluded in its 10-page letter that the plan risks being a "temporary fix" or "exacerbating" the situation unless it adds four revisions:
Meaningful judicial oversight;
Robust accountability measures;
Significant due process protections;
An expeditious time frame.
The SPLC criticized the proposed consent order as being written in "vague and overbroad terms that create uncertainty" and make it hard for the court to enforce.
It also seeks language that requires the school district to provide attorneys to students/families brought to disciplinary hearings in they can't afford one; obligations to report ongoing data; and a time frame for implementing reforms.
I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me. Langston Hughes