NAACP to sue Wayne County schools

Posted November 30, 2009
Updated December 1, 2009

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— The NAACP announced Monday that it plans to sue Wayne County Public Schools.

The group planned to hold a news conference to outline its complaints at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The North Carolina division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People seeks to prove that de facto segregation in the district deprives students of color, particularly black students, of their constitutional right to an education, the group said in a news release.

The Rev. William J. Barber, state president of the NAACP, said, “We are filing this complaint because in 2009 – 55 years after Brown v. Board of Education – the Wayne County Public School System has not only had a high school (Goldsboro High School) cited as failing to meet the standards of our [state] constitution, but is operating an attendance district that is virtually 100 percent resegregated, failing to provide adequate education to the students."

The group cites a list of poor performance statistics for students of color in the district, including:

  • Lower graduation rates
  • Higher drop out rates
  • Higher suspension rates
  • Lower grade point averages
  • Lower college entrance rates
  • Lower participation in gifted and talented programs

The North Carolina NAACP will also file complaints about Wayne County schools with the United States Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice.

When contacted by WRAL News, a spokesman for Wayne County schools said the district had not received any formal complaint, and therefore could not comment on it.


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  • NeverSurrender Dec 1, 2009

    Every time I see this guy filing a lawsuit, I really want him to understand what Bill Cosby was trying to tell him:

    If Bill can't get through to him, maybe he ought to take a page from Crazy Joe Clark's playbook:

    Joe Clark: [at an assembly] I want all of you to take a good look at these people on the risers behind me. These people have been here roughly five years, and done absolutely nothing. These people are drug dealers and drug users. They have taken up space. They have disrupted this school. They have harassed your teachers. And they have intimidated you. Well, times are about to change. You will not be bothered in Joe Clark's school. These people are incorrigible. And since none of them could graduate anyway...
    [to those onstage]
    Joe Clark: ... you are all expurgated. You are dismissed! You are out of here, forever. I wish you well! Mr. Wright...

    It'd be a heck of a lot more useful way to spend his time!

  • cary1969 Dec 1, 2009

    oh my..naacp suing for this? why don't they seek to educate the ones they feel are slighted

  • Oxfordgirl Dec 1, 2009

    I'm with you Beach4Me, I'll join the NAAEE!!!

  • Oxfordgirl Dec 1, 2009

    I am sooooo sick and tired of the NAACP I think it is time to think about moving to another country where the NAACP is no where to be found.

  • dwf1205 Dec 1, 2009

    De facto segregation is not segregation. The fact that the NAACP thinks this situation is a form of racism is ludicrous! But what really burns me up is the fact that the NAACP chases wild geese like in this story, but totally *ignores* the first Jim Crow law that is still enforced in our mostly black inner cities - gun control! For example, you have to take a writing test to get a gun in DC as I understand it - *a 50's style writing test to exercise a God given right!*
    The NAACP needs to do some self examination and go after real racism, not stuff like in this story!

  • dcatz Dec 1, 2009

    I am a white person who went to a school that was 85% black. I suffered an endless amount of racism because I was white while the school did nothing (after all, it's impossible for a black person to be racist)..

    Believe me, the problem with blacks getting poor grades has nothing to do with segregation and everything to do with their culture. Own up and take responsibility for your own failures.

  • Beach4Me Dec 1, 2009

    The NAACP will never go away by just posting comments on blogs. Action must be taken to counter them. What about an organization called the National Assoc for the Advancement of Everyone Else (NAAEE). Talk has never amounted to anything.

  • workerbee Dec 1, 2009

    It occurred to me that Barber is really testing the waters in the state wide arena. By attacking the Wayne county schools first (where he is supported by the people), he's setting up the state. Once the matter is settled and a precident set in his favor, he'll be able to force it legally statewide...specifically to Wake County where he's not supported and his interference would be attacked much more strongly.

  • psycho Dec 1, 2009

    kellyaustin96 - they're referring to the state (NC) constitution, not the federal constitution. The state constitution (Section 15, Article 1) does in fact specifically address education as a right that shall be guarded and maintained by the state of NC.

  • Jess11 Dec 1, 2009

    Rev. Barber's phone number is 919-394-8137. I think people should call him & let him know what they think. He's not answering & his voicemail is full, but I'm going to keep trying.