NAACP to sue Wayne County schools

Posted November 30, 2009 3:26 p.m. EST
Updated December 1, 2009 9:09 a.m. EST

— 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.