The decision to end school bus service in Hoover has gotten the attention of the Department of Justice. State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice says there is increased concern over Hoover's decision to cut bus service.
As this sitution continues, more people are getting involved including the NAACP, who are conducting an investigation of their own.
"We have allegations that there is discrimination, but right now we're investigating," said Anthony Johnson, Special Projects Manager for the Birmingham Chapter of the NAACP.
Johnson says the NAACP has received hundreds of calls from concerned parents, students, and even community leaders. NAACP President Hezekiah Jackson says he believes discrimination is at the root of the decision, which is why he asked Johnson to investigate.
"It has precipitated to a the point to an extreme, now we have do something," said Johnson.
The school district maintains the reason for removing the buses solely has to do with finances, and that they've been in regular communication with State Superintendent Dr. Bice, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice from the beginning.
Hoover Superintendent Andy Craig issued this statement:
"As an ongoing component of planning and evaluating changes to Hoover City Schools' delivery of transportation services, my office has engaged in discussions with various parties of interest. We have been in regular communication with State Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice and other representatives of the State Department of Education. In addition, through my office, the Hoover City Board of Education has been engaged in and continues to dialogue with the United States Attorney's Office and representatives for the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.
As a part of these continuing discussions, we have engaged in a collaborative review process with the Department of Justice, with the mutual goal of best serving the students of Hoover. To facilitate these discussions, the Department of Justice has requested certain information regarding the operation of our transportation program, and we will provide that information.
I want to stress that we have been in open and productive dialogue with the United States Department of Justice, and we will continue to provide all relevant information."
It's clear all eyes are on Hoover with parents refusing to back down.
"We are in a unique place that makes it somewhat precarious for the state department, in that city systems aren't required to provide transportation so the fact they made the decision not to is there's to make. It does then become my responsibility to continue looking at safety and welfare and that will be my major focus as this plays out," said Dr. Bice.
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