Local News

Appeals Court to Hear Durham Schools Discrimination Lawsuit

Posted July 6, 2007
Updated July 7, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals will hear a lawsuit accusing Durham Public Schools of targeting black students.

The complaint, filed more than a year ago, claims former school Superintendent Ann Denlinger and the Board of Education violated the civil rights of black students for suspending them without due process.

Oral arguments are set for September. A motion to dismiss the suit has not yet been ruled on.

North Carolina Central University law professor Patti Solari claims that in one year, black students made up about 80 percent of those suspended without an opportunity to be heard.

"They're targeting them based on race," she said.

Former PTA Council President Jack Gibson has disputed the claim, calling it an inaccurate assessment of what has occurred.

"We have a higher population of blacks than we do whites," he said.

Black students make up about 55 percent of the school system's total population, white students make up about 24 percent, and other races comprise the remaining population.

Ann Majestic, attorney for the Durham school board, has said there is no evidence to support the claim of suspensions based on race and that many of the students listed in the lawsuit don't dispute they were involved in misconduct.

The original trial judge sided with the school board and threw out the case.

15 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jokers Wild Jul 8, 2007

    Amen sick of thugs 4 == Can you Imagine how much money would be saved if they made lawsuits like this never possible... I mean come on, suspend the kids because they are black?? Had nothing to do with the fact that they were probably disrupting classes would it? Another Race card played to perfection for sympathy of the Blacks..With 24% of the students being white, i wonder how they are not called the minorites, or how come the "white" kids didnt have lawsuits raised against the school claiming they were suspended for being white??? Give me a break...

  • none123 Jul 7, 2007

    Another frivilous lawsuit in an already over loaded judicial system.

  • larry1 Jul 7, 2007

    does anybody out there think the whole school system is just out their to gangup on all the poor blach kids,right!!if you did the crime do the time,don't call the naacp to play the race card.

  • Not_So_Dumb Jul 7, 2007

    "Ann Majestic, attorney for the Durham school board, has said there is no evidence to support..."

    This is the same lawyer who was in charge of the recent legal failures in Wake county! She made the same predictions there too. Right or wrong, smart money will bet against the schools - Majestic couldn't defend a grizzly bear from a butterfly!

  • Panther Jul 7, 2007

    The race card is over played, once its thrown it becomes the non black victim responsibility to defend them self. If it doesn’t go your way it must be the white mans fault! I think that Patti Solari needs to look in a mirror first.

  • djofraleigh Jul 7, 2007

    Why does anyone anywhere want to live in Durham?

    If the allegation is true, or false, either way, Durham is not able to govern itself, or so it seems.

    Sorry to those who live there, but from the news outta Durham, how else can it be looked at?

  • Hillbilly justice Jul 7, 2007

    DOES ANYBODY BELIEVE THAT THE SCHOOL SYS. AND THEIR EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED TO PICK ON THE POOR BLACK KIDS. COME ON PEOPLE GET OVER IT AND START TAKEING RESPONSIBLITY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILDREN...... IF THUG MUSIC AND CULTURE ARE WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY IS SUPPORTING THEN THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL PRODUCE..... BLACK OR WHITE THUGS IN ALL RACES...........

  • cjump Jul 7, 2007

    Maybe if these cretins stop acting like fools in school, did their homework and learned their lessons. Maybe they wouldn't be suspended. Of course, maybe if their parents acted like parents and enforced some discipline on them they wouldn't act like animals and get suspended.

    Your race doesn't make you a well behaved person or not. Your upbringing does. Its about time ALL parents started being parents instead of buddies, sperm donors and absentee role models.

  • choppa Jul 7, 2007

    This case was also based on comparisons of incident reports that show students involved in exactly the same types of incidents who also had exactly the same school disciplinary records, yet certain students consistently receive very harsh suspensions. In the vast majority of incidents these students were of color. If color has anything to do with this then this should not be happing.

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Jul 6, 2007

    The race card gets way overplayed. Is anyone surprised by this? It's pretty much a running joke now.

More...