Local News

Rev. Jesse Jackson Encourages Students to Excel

Posted March 12, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Some parents in Wayne County aren't happy with the racial mix in their schools and they say they want change. The Reverend Jesse Jackson apparently agrees with them.

Jackson addressed more than one-thousand students and school and city officials at Goldsboro High School urging unity among residents of Wayne County and asking students to achieve. Later, he spoke to about 2,000 people at Saint Mark Church of Christ.

While Jackson was invited to speak by opponents of the school redistricting plan, he skirted that issue and instead used the two forums to promote unity. He told the group at the high school that when people are separated by race and class, segregation is based on ignorance, fear, hatred and violence.

Jackson said he came to Goldsboro because redistricting is an issue of national importance. He said he thinks the area could become an example of racial reform.

The group wants more school money spent on further desegregation. Jackson says that's the only way to give students an equal footing that could send more children to college and fewer to prison.

Critics of the Wayne County school plan say it does not change district lines. They believe those lines create a disparity in educational quality based on race and income. Arrayed against them are neighborhood school supporters.

From staff and wire reports