NAACP files complaint against Wayne Schools

NAACP North Carolina State Conference President William J. Barber II. (AP image)

December 15, 2009 2:30:34 PM PST
The state chapter of the NAACP is taking on Wayne County Public Schools.

Tuesday the civil rights organization announced plans to file a lawsuit that says the school system's practices have hampered black students.

In the federal complaint, the NAACP accuses Wayne County's public school system of re-segregation with dire consequences for African-American students.

"A form of almost legalized child abuse has caused white and black citizens, and elected officials of good will, to speak out against the school board," Rev. William Barber, NC NAACP president, said at a news conference Tuesday.

The complaint alleges a link between the poor academic performance of many black students and the assignment of Wayne County school districts.

"Children know when the school they attend is considered 'less than' or 'not as good as,' NC NAACP Executive Director Amina Turner said. "Yes, they know. It means that the adults who make decisions about their classrooms, thus their futures, have abandoned them."

The NAACP also says Wayne Schools don't follow guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act.

"This not only deprived the school of an additional $3 million, but stripped students and parents of important advocacy rights guaranteed under this act," said Charles Wright, who is retired from the Air Force.

The NACP says Wayne Schools violate Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination by government agencies that get federal funding.

"And only the intervention of federal education experts who can create a critical mass of public support for a creative public educational program for all our children, can break this logjam," Rev. Barber said.

So far, there has not been a comment about the complaint from Wayne County Public Schools. A spokesperson told ABC11 Eyewitness News the school system has not received a copy of the documents.

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