Shelby County Schools seeking to lift 1963 desegregation order

Shelby County Schools moves to lift desegregation order
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school segregation unconstitutional.

In 1963, a lawsuit was filed due to the Macon County Board of Education not taking steps to integrate their local schools.

A desegregation order was issued in the case and became a blueprint for school desegregation plans.

Fast forward to 2006, Judge Myron Thompson found the Macon County school district to be in compliance with the desegregation order.

In 2013, nearly 50 Alabama school districts remained under the supervision of the court and the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the Lee vs. Macon County case.

Most recently, the Shelby County school system filed a motion on Tuesday with requests in regard to that 1963 desegregation order.

Shelby County was added to that case in 1968.

According to Tuesday’s filing, there hasn’t been any movement in this case since 1988 - not even a judge to oversee it.

The board of education wants a judge assigned to the case so that it can provide updates, proving there’s no segregation in the system.

If the Shelby County Schools motion is approved, the school system along with 50 other school districts will seek unitary status.

Birmingham lawyer Ken Simon said the goal now is to reach what they call unitary status.

“That is a status in which race is not a factor any longer in the decision-making process, they have not had to have much contact with the courts over the last 2 or 3 decades some of them,” Simson said. “Now it’s time for all of these systems to get this litigation behind them.”

From there, Shelby County will have to submit a consent order with proof that they are not discriminating their students on the basis of race.


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