Blog Posts: Pitt County

Appeals Court Releases Pitt County Schools from Federal Desegregation Orders

In a disappointing 2-1 decision (PDF), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 2013 ruling of the U.S. District Court declaring that Pitt County Schools had fully complied with historic desegregation orders and releasing the district from federal court oversight.


Read More... (Appeals Court Releases Pitt County Schools from Federal Desegregation Orders)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Thu. June 4, 2015 2:25 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination

A Reflection on the Pitt County Unitary Status Trial

Plaintiffs and attorneys at the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Greenville, NC.

After over five years of representing our clients, and an important victory at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012, the Center’s school desegregation case, Everett et al v. Pitt County Board of Education, went to trial in U.S. District Court in Greenville. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Dechert LLP co-counseled on the case.


Read More... (A Reflection on the Pitt County Unitary Status Trial)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. August 2, 2013 4:04 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

On July 22, CCR represents Plaintiffs in historic Pitt County school desegregation trial

On July 22 a trial over the issue of racial segregation of students in Pitt County Schools (PCS) will begin at the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Greenville, N.C. The UNC Center for Civil Rights (CCR) and co-counsel are representing a group of African-American parents and the Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children (the plaintiffs) to reverse a PCS student assignment plan that they assert resegregated several schools in the district. At the same time, PCS will seek a declaration of “unitary status” and an end to over four decades of federal judicial oversight. A school district is considered unitary when it has eliminated the effects of past racial segregation to the extent practicable.

This is the first major unitary status case in North Carolina since 1999. Over 100 school districts across the South are still under court supervision, and many advocates involved in those districts will likely be monitoring this lawsuit to see how the case unfolds.

The UNC Center for Civil Rights are joined as Plaintiffs' counsel by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and Dechert LLP.

Media inquiries may be directed to the UNC Law School Communications Office (Allison Reid, 919.843.7148, allison_reid@unc.edu) or UNC Center for Civil Rights (Bethan Eynon, 919.590.9139, eynon@email.unc.edu). Time permitting, Center for Civil Rights attorneys will post updates on this blog as the trial progresses.


Read More... (On July 22, CCR represents Plaintiffs in historic Pitt County school desegregation trial)
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Wed. July 17, 2013 2:05 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

59 Years after Brown vs. Board of Ed, the Spectrum of Segregation Persists

The Center was invited to write for Teach For America's blog, Pass the Chalk, to commemorate the Brown v. Board of Education anniversary. We wrote about the spectrum of segregation and resegregation in North Carolina as an example of this disturbing nationwide trend.

Halifax community members at a rally for education equality

Although racial segregation in public schools was held unconstitutional in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education, massive resistance by segregationist state and local governments prevented meaningful implementation of this landmark ruling for over a decade. It wasn’t until the late 1960s, and in response to community activism, litigation, and intervention by the federal government, that the doors of educational opportunity were finally forced open to create equal access for children of color.

Today, almost 60 years after Brown, its promise of an integrated and equal education remains unfulfilled. The cross-exposure of black and white students—an important measure of integration—peaked in the mid-1980s but, by 2000 was even lower than in 1968.


Read More... (59 Years after Brown vs. Board of Ed, the Spectrum of Segregation Persists)
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Thu. May 16, 2013 12:09 PM
Categories: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Education, Halifax County, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Wake County

Center files Extraordinary Writ to Fourth Circuit

On October 9, the Center for Civil Rights, on behalf of Plaintiffs in the Everett v. Pitt County Schools desegregation case, petitioned to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Writ of Mandamus ordering the District Court in Greenville, NC to comply with the appellate court’s May 2012 ruling regarding the county’s 2011-2012 student assignment plan.

More about the history of this case.
Read the Petition for Writ of Mandamus (PDF). 


Read More... (Center files Extraordinary Writ to Fourth Circuit)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. October 16, 2012 3:10 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Update: COA Denies En Banc Petition and issues Mandate - District court must implement Opinion favoring Plaintiffs

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Pitt County Board of Education's petition for an en banc hearing in Everett v. Pitt County Schools. On June 5, 2012, the Court of Appeals denied the petition, stating that no judge called for the case to be reheard. Read the court's denial of en banc rehearing (PDF).

On June 13, 2012, the Court issued a Mandate stating: "The judgment of this court, entered May 7, 2012, takes effect today." Read the Mandate (PDF).  The Mandate is a clear affirmation that the Court of Appeals expects significant and immediate action from the district court.

The Court's May 2012 decision vacated the district court’s August 2011 decision and remanded the case for reconsideration with the correct burden of proof. The Mandate reaffirms the court's duty to correctly apply the burden of proof on the school board and hold PCS to its affirmative duty.


Read More... (Update: COA Denies En Banc Petition and issues Mandate - District court must implement Opinion favoring Plaintiffs)
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Wed. June 13, 2012 9:22 AM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination

Another Victory in Pitt County: US DOJ rejects electoral changes to School Board

Last summer, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill to reduce the number of district-based seats on the Pitt County School Board from 12 to 6, and to add a new at-large seat. Because of its long history of race discrimination in voting, Pitt County is one of 40 counties in the state subject to Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 requires covered jurisdictions receive preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice of any proposed voting changes, to ensure that minority voting rights are not harmed by the change.

On April 30, 2012, the Justice Department rejected Pitt County Schools' preclearance submission, specially citing the retrogressive impact and discriminatory effect of the voting changes.


Read More... (Another Victory in Pitt County: US DOJ rejects electoral changes to School Board)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. May 18, 2012 4:42 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Pitt County, Voting Rights

Fourth Circuit COA Rules in Favor of Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children

Plaintiffs and concerned citizens, Center Attorneys, and UNC Law Students outside the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals after January 2012 oral arguments in Everett v. Pitt County Schools

On May 7, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion in Everett et al. v. Pitt County Board of Education affirming the efforts of African American parents and community members to stop Pitt County Schools from implementing its 2011-12 student reassignment. The UNC Center for Civil Rights represents the Pitt Coalition for Educating Black Children and several individual parents of children attending Pitt County Schools.

“This is a great victory for the people,” said Mark Dorosin, Managing Attorney at the Center. “The court affirmed what decades of desegregation law, from Brown vs. Board of Ed. to the present, require: that a school district which remains under a desegregation order has an affirmative duty to eliminate the vestiges of racial discrimination, and until the court rules that the district has fulfilled that duty, current racial disparities are presumed to be the result of the past unconstitutional conduct.”


Read More... (Fourth Circuit COA Rules in Favor of Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Mon. May 7, 2012 5:19 PM
Categories: Education, Law Students, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

UNC Center for Civil Rights Argues Pitt County School Desegregation Case in US Court of Appeals

Plaintiff-Appellants, Center attorneys, and UNC Law Students stand outside Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA after oral arguments in Everett v. Pitt County Schools

The UNC Center for Civil Rights argued a critical school desegregation case before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, Jan. 26. Representing several African American parents and the Pitt Coalition for the Education of Black Children, the center argued that the Pitt County (N.C.) School District's 2011-2012 student assignment plan increases segregation and racial isolation in the county's schools and violates the school board's affirmative legal duty to remedy the vestiges of race discrimination in the district.


Read More... (UNC Center for Civil Rights Argues Pitt County School Desegregation Case in US Court of Appeals)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. January 27, 2012 12:27 PM
Categories: Education, Law Students, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Center to Argue School Desegregation Case at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

The Center for Civil Rights, on behalf of several African American parents and the Pitt Coalition for the Education of Black Children (“the Coalition”), recently appealed a decision from the Eastern District of North Carolina denying their motion for relief, which sought a judicial determination that Pitt County Schools’ (“PCS”) 2011-2012 student reassignment contravened the 1970 desegregation orders still governing the district. PCS is one of the few remaining school districts in the country still under a federal desegregation order, and the board’s affirmative duty to show that its actions move the district toward unitary status is at the core of the appeal to be argued before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 26, 2012.Read the Center's brief (PDF).


Read More... (Center to Argue School Desegregation Case at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Sun. December 4, 2011 10:35 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Administrator Login

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.