The Hoover school system wants to end federal oversight over its school district. The court supervision stems from a decades-old settlement in Jefferson County’s school desegregation case.
Tonight, Hoover school officials and lawyers representing black students in the system want to get community feedback on plans that would show policies and practices are not discriminatory. Officials would examine several things in Hoover, including programs, facilities, attendance zones, and hiring practices. Hoover is under court supervision because at the time of the 1965 lawsuit, students in the Hoover area were part of the Jefferson County school system.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Trace Crossings Elementary School.
U.W. Clemon, the lawyer representing black students and their parents, says the Hoover system still has a long way to go, especially after a controversial video recently surfaced online in which high school students in Hoover used racist and anti-Semitic slurs.
“Some attitudes have to change on the part of a lot of people before we get into the mindset of a unitary system – one in which there are no traces of racial discrimination,” Clemon says.
Hoover has increased the percentage of black teachers in the system in recent years, Clemon says. But while about a quarter of Hoover students are black, less than a tenth of teachers are black, according to federal records.
Clemon says the low percentage of black faculty, along with the school system’s lukewarm response to the video, is a problem.
“The administration, as far as many of the parents are concerned, has not been as forthright as it should have been in denouncing racists acts,” Clemon says.
The federal judge supervising the desegregation case will consider the feedback and decide what’s next.
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