Posted: Aug 8, 2014 10:41 AM by Russell Jones
Updated: Aug 8, 2014 12:21 PM
BATON ROUGE - Attorneys for the NAACP's Baton Rouge chapter filed suit this week to challenge the East Baton Rouge School Board's decision to reduce the number of seats.
The suit claims the decision will unduly affect black residents in the district, and that the board didn't properly notify the public about hearings involving the reductions.
The board voted 6-5 on July 24 to reduce the number of positions from 11 to 9. The current divisions include six majority white and five majority black districts, while the new divisions will have five majority white and four majority black districts.
Board member Craig Freeman, who requested the reduction, is named as a defendant along with the school board and Louisiana Secretary of State's Office. The suit claims Freeman, who currently lives in Oklahoma and doesn't plan to seek re-election, should not be on the board and any instances where his vote created a majority should be thrown out.
The suit also said the timing of the decision makes it impossible for people who want to represent the changing districts to file, since the deadline for petitions has passed. The new districts go into effect Jan. 1.
Supporters of the reduction said they hoped it would reduce the amount of conflict that has held up previous meetings.