NAACP threatens Wake school lawsuit

November 16, 2009 7:40:45 AM PST
The NAACP says it will sue the Wake County School Board if it ends its controversial busing policy.The threat came just hours before voters were set to decide a final school board seat that could set that change in motion. The battleground is in District 2 - covering southeast Raleigh, Garner, and southeastern Wake County.

Both of the remaining candidates are on the same side of busing issue. Cathy Truitt faces John Todesco in a runoff. Todesco was the far and away frontrunner in October. Truitt said she was dropping out but now says she'll serve if elected - something she admits is a long shot.

Still, she says in the unlikely chance she wins, she'll serve on the school board to make sure the current school board does not stay with the status quo.

"There has not been any conspiracy behind my decisions and there has been no one out there politically advising me to do these things," she said.

Truitt says anyone who believes she's somehow conspiring with the current school board to keep the status quo is flat out wrong.

"I'm not in favor of status quo. I have never been in favor of forced bussing," she said.

On the eve of the election, Truitt's clarifying. She wants to end Wake County's current diversity policy which busses students across the county to create socio-economic diversity.

Many voters say they're confused that she's still in the running. Losing by 25 percent in October, she first asked for a runoff and then later canceled her request saying she didn't think she'd win and didn't want to waste taxpayer's money, but it was too late.

Her name is already on the ballot and at this point she's already endorsed her competition John Tedesco.

Truitt then learned in the unlikely chance that she wins - but didn't take the seat - the current school board would be able to appoint whomever it wants and that's not what she wants.

"People could've manipulated the vote," she said.

That's why she says if she wins she'll accept the seat. Still Tedesco is campaigning hard to make sure his supporters return to the polls Tuesday. Both support returning to neighborhood schools.

The North Carolina NAACP says that's code word for re-segregating schools it's threatening to sue.

"After Tuesday, we are prepared to analyze every policy the new board puts in place. We're prepared to litigate, whether we use Title 6 laws under the civil rights act or whether we use the courts federally or the state courts, we are prepared to fight that every child has a constitutional education that's what's at stake," offered NC NAACP President William Barber.

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