NAACP plans to file lawsuit against EBR school board
BATON ROUGE - The NAACP spent Friday reviewing what happened at the East Baton Rouge school board meeting Thursday night with plans to file a lawsuit.
The school board voted 6-5 to decrease the number of school board members from 11 to 9. Some board members feel they can do more with fewer members.
The NAACP says it was shocked and saddened by the result.
"It's obscene that these people who are elected officials who are charged with the responsibility to protect our resources are squandering them on a legal challenge that we did not need in this parish," said attorney Alfreda Tillman Bester.
Board members we spoke with say the decreased number of members will cut down on conflict that holds up meetings.
"We will have a smaller board that has more time to be together," said school board member Connie Bernard. "We can be more respectful of the public's opinions and more respectful of the public's time and have more efficient meetings with less conflict."
The NAACP feels board members ignored the overwhelming sentiment of the community and took their voices away after the vote. Bester says the result means less representation for every member of the community along with a dilution of the African American voting strength.
"It lessens the access that people have to their representative, to their elected representative," she said.
Republicans and Democrats also voiced opposition to the change, but the Baton Rouge Area Chamber praised the school board's action.