NAACP accuses Wayne schools of 'extreme re-segregation'

Posted December 1, 2009
Updated February 4, 2010

— The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP has filed a federal complaint against Wayne County Public Schools, saying its practices deprive students of color, particularly black students, of their constitutional right to an education.

NAACP files complaint against Wayne County schools NAACP files complaint against Wayne County schools

"This action comes after years of talking and good-faith efforts to end its patterns and policies that have resulted in the creation of extreme re-segregation and a district of apartheid education within what is supposed to be a unified one-county school system," state NAACP President Rev. William Barber said at a news conference Tuesday.

Barber said that the 12-page complaint, filed with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, cites policies that have resulted in poor performance statistics, including lower graduation rates, higher dropout and suspension rates, and stiffer discipline for black students.

The state NAACP alleges that the school system uses buses to segregate schools in Goldsboro by race rather than by neighborhood. Barber said the practice results in some schools that are "100 percent African-American with maybe one or two white children."

"It sounds impossible," he said, "but the fact is it's existing right now."

Ken Derksen, a spokesman for Wayne County schools, said Tuesday that the school system hasn't received a formal complaint but that there are some misleading elements in parts of which they have been made aware.

The school system, he said, is working to improve test scores and reduce achievement gaps, but he insists it is not an issue of segregated schools.

"The challenge is that you can't redistrict based on race and you can't force students to be bused based on race," he said. "It is just simply unconstitutional."

He added that the NAACP findings, based on what he has seen, don't fully take into account all the elements at play in student make-up, including students in private schools.


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  • faisona Dec 11, 2009

    Okay, let's really talk about Wayne County schools. A parent speaks up about her child, contacts those serving over the Superintendent and what happens "They punish the child as a way of getting back at the parent for advocating for what is right." If you would like to know what I am talking about just ask. This is not right that a school system can try to destroy a child's education over some he say she say stuff. Yes I said he say she say....then the Superintendent refuses to meet with the parent. Are we serious here? Is the leader of Wayne County public schools refusing to meet with parents about concerns. The answer is yes!!! I have the email to prove it.

  • doubletrouble Dec 2, 2009

    People with the resources, regardless of color, are going to send their kids to the schools with the best reputation for learning, even if they have to relocate, pay for private, etc-that is NOT going to change. Those who cannot, are going to be stuck with whatever is left over. The difference is the lack of respect, discipline and parental envolvement. One can be poor, but still have these things. Teachers are to teach, parents are to teach you how to act while one is there to learn. A child who does not have the three things I mentioned above, will always do poorly. It's not teaching principals that need to change, it's the parent's principals that need to. A "village" can "help" a child, but only when the parents realize that disipline/respect HAS to start at home. D&R are not in the envelope with the welfare check, it has to begin at the child's early age of development and continue onwards.

  • noreplytome2 Dec 2, 2009

    You're right.. he's eying someone else's role after he/she is gone. Everyone is looking up their own Totem pole, and Barber is a small man on the bottom of a small, racially based pole.

    For those of you that wonder about Rev. Barber's dedication to the young people in the city, I would ask that you take a closer look. I've seen him lead marches in the rain to speak out against gangs and violence in the city. He's not someone looking for a publicity stunt.

  • 3779LRRP Dec 1, 2009

    Hopfully this feeble attempt at putting the blame of failing students on the schools instead of where it properly belongs... "on the students and parents".. will be chunked out of court so fast it will sound like a sonic boom all over North Carolina. I sure wish I could be very unpolitically correct at this moment and say how I really feel. But... I won't.

  • alwaysCool Dec 1, 2009

    This is the same man that lives in the Goldsboro HS district, but had his daughter sent to Eastern Wayne HS. Does that say anthing about the school? He did the same as those parents that were able to transfer their kids. Also, the kids in that district are able to transfer out because of a ruling of the probation they are in and they are buses to what ever school they wish.

  • Rubber band Dec 1, 2009

    Some of you still don't get the problem. The problem isn't wanting kids to drive further to go to GHS, it's wanting them to go to the school that's closest, which is usually GHS. Middle class families inside the city are going to schools outside the city limits. Even the Reverend's children are having to go to a school further away because of the horrible district set up. When you make it where anyone middle class and above can go to another school further away, you lose all the funding that a normal school would get from booster clubs and similar organizations.

    I'm a white male, and it was even a common joke 5 years ago that the smart black students didn't go to GHS. They transferred to EWHS or CBA.

    For those of you that wonder about Rev. Barber's dedication to the young people in the city, I would ask that you take a closer look. I've seen him lead marches in the rain to speak out against gangs and violence in the city. He's not someone looking for a publicity stunt.

  • Da Toy Maker Dec 1, 2009

    OpinionOnEverything & Marvin:

    So, what you are saying here is the segregation is more by economic than by race, right? If the White people in the district send their kids to private school, what could be done by the School system? Could you sue to have the White people pull their kids out of private school and enroll them in public school?

    As in my previous post, I'm not familiar with Wayne County nor its school system that I can't say a lot. Just base my comments on the news article/postings. Charlotte has neighborhood schools, how does it avoid getting sue?

    My kid is at Enloe HS. He was at Martin Middle school. Yes. I live in a neighborhood which could be classified as middle class are in NW Raleigh. Right now, we are the only minority (Non-black if that matter) in a neighborhood of about 40 families. We love the magnet program but if it were not there, we would have been OK too. I do agree somethings have to be done so a school will be a good environment for kids to learn.

  • ericeric99 Dec 1, 2009

    The NAACP would be better suited to lobby the financially secure African Americans too pitch in and help fund the improvement of these schools, and hire better teachers. As I stated before I grew up in the Goldsboro system and is was lacking but if you wanted to make it you did. There are alot of professional athletes and successfull buiness people who have made it out of the Goldsboro system and its time for some of them to lend a helping hand to either the school system, or build Resources Centers for these kids to get caught up and excel.
    Not many people are aware that Shaquille Oneal paid for Shanyia Davis's funeral. These types of guestures help give a "Cause" a voice and someone stepping in will not only inspire the kids but may even inspire some parents to get off their behinds.
    If noting else comes of this NCAAP move, I hope the National attention embarrasses the "Hell out of the Parents"

  • rebekillian Dec 1, 2009

    I went to a predominantly black school and graduated about 4 years ago. It was poor, and our resources were thin, but those who wanted the education were the ones who thrived. I learned to make the best of what I had and run with it, and now I have a degree and a career. Bottom line is not everyone WANTS to learn, and only those with the responsibility and the drive to be successful are going to be, no matter what the color of their skin might be.

  • noreplytome2 Dec 1, 2009

    Wayne County itself is about 80% black.. What do they want? Import some white folk from Beverly Hills???

    One can only hope all this attention these racists are bringing upon themselves lead to the organization's downfall. The "reverend" is blinded by his own hypocrisy.