According to the documents obtained by The Bolivar Commercial on Thursday, the United State’s objection is related to student assignment at East Side and D.M. Smith.
“This desegregation case has now been pending for more that 47 years, during which time the district has failed to achieve the court’s directive to integrate its schools as soon as possible,” said U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams in the objection paperwork.
“More recently, on March 28, 2012, the court found that throughout these 47 years the district has failed to racially integrate one of its two high schools, East Side High School, and one of its two middle schools, D.M. Smith Middle School.
The court then ordered the district to submit a proposed desegregation plan “to further integrate East Side and D.M. Smith, and to achieve racial balance among its faculty.”
Without prescribing a specific remedy, the court said that a plan must “promise realistically to work and promise realistically to work now.”
The court also ordered that the district’s plan “have real prospects of dismantling the state-imposed dual system at the earliest practicable date.”
“As the court suggested, ‘one obvious remedy’ would be to consolidate the district’s two high schools and two middle schools,” said Adams. “Rezoning existing attendance boundaries could also produce meaningful integration.”
In the school district’s proposal that was submitted to the court on May 15 and reported on again on Aug. 17, the district proposed to introduce “magnet” programs at both East Side High School and D.M. Smith Middle School to help attract white students from Cleveland High School and Margaret Green Jr. High.
“The district believes that its current Majority to Minority Program together with the ongoing magnet school programs are serving to increase diversity at our District schools,” said the Aug. 17 order from the school district. “The Majority to Minority Program and the Magnet Schools Program has resulted in integrated student populations at Cleveland High School, MGJH, Pearman Elementary, Parks Elementary, Bell Elementary and Hayes Cooper Elementary.”