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Court revives racial bias claims over school plan

3 years ago November 03, 2011 Nov 3, 2011 Thursday, November 03 2011 Thursday, November 03, 2011 1:24:04 PM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that claims a Louisiana school board's redistricting plan discriminated against black students.

In Thursday's ruling, a divided three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a judge erroneously dismissed all the claims filed against the Ascension Parish School Board by Darrin Kenny Lewis Sr., a father of two black schoolchildren.

Lewis claims the redistricting plan assigned a disproportionate number of minorities and "at-risk" students to the same schools.

The panel's majority opinion said U.S. District Judge Ralph Tyson shouldn't have dismissed Lewis' claims before a trial because there was a "genuine issue of material fact" whether the school board acted with a racially discriminatory motive.

5th Circuit Judge Carolyn King disagreed, saying Lewis didn't present evidence of racial bias.

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