Judge's Ruling In Pitt Schools Segregation Federal Case Will Take Weeks

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A lawsuit alleging the lack of racial diversity in the Pitt County School District is now over, but the decision in the case may not come for months.

The federal case against the Pitt County School Board started Monday in Greenville and closing arguments wrapped up Friday.

Judge Malcolm Howard will make the final decision in the next 8 weeks on whether Pitt County Schools has tried to desegregate schools and create unitary status.

Several families have joined forces with the Coalition to Educate Black Children as plaintiff's against the district to fight what they consider discriminatory practices. Their attorney Ezra Rosenberg says they've felt good about their case and potential for Pitt County to finally achieve unitary status.

"I think there are lots of opportunities to provide balancing throughout the school district. Our experts talked to that, and I think the school district could come up with a plan that works," said

Pitt County's School District attorney didn’t want to speak on camera, but said in court the board of education has tried since the federal court order in the 1970s to desegregate schools and hopes that Judge Howard's decision will then alleviate the courts from approving any student assignment changes in the the future.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The parents of current or former Pitt County Schools students say their children succeeded in school despite what they said was racial discrimination by teachers and administrators.

The Daily Reflector reports the four parents testified Thursday in a trial the school system hopes will prove it treats all students equally regardless of race. The attorney for the school system rested his case on Wednesday.

Lawyers for the Pitt County Coalition to Educate Black Children began their arguments Thursday. The coalition maintains that the school system needs to do more to ensure equal numbers of black and white students attend the county's schools.

Both sides are expected to present their closing arguments on Friday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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A college sociology professor said he thought the Pitt County school board achieved, maintained and tried to repair racial disparities with the system.

The second day of testimony for David Armor of George Mason University came Tuesday during a hearing on the ongoing dispute over efforts to desegregate schools in Pitt County.

Five local administrators also testified at the hearing.

Pitt County is looking to be released from a 1970 court order that required officials to desegregate the schools. The order lay dormant until a group of Greenville parents challenged the 2005 redistricting plan.

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Lawyers are set to square off in federal court over whether the effects of racial segregation persist in an eastern North Carolina school system.

A trial is scheduled to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Greenville in the case of Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education.

A group of black parents represented by the UNC Center for Civil Rights will ask the court to reverse a 2011 student assignment plan they say effectively resegregated several schools in the district.

Lawyers for the Pitt schools will ask a judge to rule that the district has achieved "unitary status," meaning the "vestiges of past discrimination have been eliminated to the extent practicable."

The designation would end federal oversight of the Pitt schools, in place since the 1960s.


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