A school board in Raleigh, N.C. is facing backlash from angry residents who say school officials are trying to reverse desegregation in their schools, Blackvoices.com reported.
A policy approved by the school board in a 5-to-4 vote and allows students to attend schools closer to home, leading to what some critics call resegregation in the school system if students remain in largely White or Black neighborhoods and unbalance current efforts at achieving diversity in local schools.
A gathering held outside of the meeting quickly turned into a student protest against the policy. Three men were arrested following the protest, charged with trespassing and resisting officers.
After hearing the chairman of the board call his critics “animals out of the cages,” state NAACP Chief William Barber accused the new school board of having “racist attitudes.”
“It’s morally wrong. It’s legally wrong. It’s economically wrong,” Barber told Blackvoices.com. “Your press to go backward will only serve to intensify our moral, political and legal fight to go forward and never go back.”
Suburban parents have always considered busing an extreme inconvenience. The parents, who are mainly middle class and White, argue their children should be permitted to attend schools in their own neighborhoods.
The Wake County, N.C. school board implemented the busing policy in 1999. After the 2007 Supreme Court ruling limiting the use of race in how districts assign students, Wake County became a model for other districts around the nation who wanted to maintain a balance among racial demographics in schools.