In a disappointing but not surprising decision, Superior Court Judge W. Russell Duke, Jr. dismissed Silver et al. v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners, the lawsuit filed last August by the Center on behalf of the Coalition for Education and Economic Security (CEES), the Halifax County Branch of the NAACP, and three parents and guardian in Halifax County, NC. The suit was based on the landmark Leandro litigation and the North Carolina Constitution’s guarantee to every child of the opportunity to secure a sound basic education, and specifically challenged the County’s maintenance of three inadequately funded, racially segregated school districts as a direct impediment to a constitutionally-compliant education.
Judge Duke, assigned to the case by designation of the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, held a half-day hearing on the County’s multiple motions to dismiss on December 22. Despite written and oral argument establishing that claims asserted were firmly grounded in the state supreme court’s Leandro I
and Leandro II
decisions and the established statutory and constitutional educational obligations of county governments, the court concluded that the Plaintiffs “cite no provision of the Constitution . . . nor offer any compelling authority that it is the Constitutional responsibility of the Defendant to implement and maintain a public education system for Halifax County.” Read the decision
CEES and the NAACP, who have been organizing and advocating for education justice in Halifax County for years, along with the individual plaintiffs, are in the process of strategizing next steps, including the possibility of appeal.
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Wed. February 3, 2016 3:19 PM
Education, Halifax County, Leandro, Segregation