Huntsville City Schools Seeks Removal from Federal Desegregation Order

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville school leaders say it’s time to make their own decisions. The school board and superintendent are fighting to be released from Department of Justice oversight.

Huntsville City SchoolsIt all comes down to a federal desegregation order hanging over the school district. Members of the school board feel the superintendent’s hands are tied when it comes to making recommendations for the school district.

“This special called meeting for the Huntsville City School Board of Education is now in session,” said School Board President Laurie McCaulley.

McCaulley announced the school district is seeking removal from a federal desegregation order. She and the school district’s attorney went to Washington, DC this week. They spent five hours talking to representatives with the DOJ and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“We believe the meeting was very helpful. It gave all sides an opportunity to hear and understand the rationale of the positions taken by the other side,” added McCaulley.

The desegregation order, for more than four decades, has impacted how Huntsville’s school district operates. It requires the school district to get permission when it comes to doing things like rezoning and building new schools.

McCaulley understands the order was applied when some thought the school district did not work for all children.

“It was one for blacks and one for whites. It was one for south and one for north. We now have to demonstrate to them we are unified,” added McCaulley.

The DOJ is nowhere near making a decision on the board’s request. The school board, DOJ and NAACP are working together to plan more confidential talks.