Judge sets hearing on motion filed to add families to Huntsville City Schools Desegregation lawsuit

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - There is a new effort to add three additional people as plaintiffs in the desegregation lawsuit involving Huntsville City Schools, and the federal judge overseeing the case has set a hearing for Monday afternoon.

T.C. Johnson serves as a pastor at St. Luke Missionary Baptist in Huntsville, but he's also the moderator of the North Huntsville Community United for Action Group.

In that capacity, he represents the group of three parents seeking to be added as plaintiffs in the desegregation lawsuit against Huntsville City Schools.

But he says that motion is not about claiming new harm or damages or even stalling the consent decree.  He says it's about getting access to information.

"Their attorney would be able to speak directly to the judge. At this junction, we have to talk to the DoJ who doesn't really talk back to us. They just receive information from us."

Johnson says the community he represents still supports carving out the path to getting the school system from out of federal oversight.

"There's a desire to lift this desegregation order, and we all have that desire," said Johnson. "But at the end of the day, when it's lifted, we want to be able to ensure that all of the schools in Huntsville are served the same way with the same amount of concern."

So Johnson says joining the lawsuit, "It's just a transparency issue, a voice issue. Being able to see how the desegregation order is being implemented and those stipulations fulfilled to be able to see it at the local level, so we can be satisfied that it's not just an on-paper job. That it's been done in real life."

Huntsville City Schools says in part via statement: "The board and superintendent have done everything in their power to comply with all of the conditions in the consent order, and any statement to the contrary is totally false.  The district is very transparent with the progress, with a required yearly report posted by November 15 each year."

They did not respond to our specific question of whether they would oppose the motion to add plaintiffs.

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