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St George supporters hope documentary spurs signatures

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Posted: Jul 16, 2014 3:14 PM by Jason Newton
Updated: Jul 16, 2014 5:46 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: st george, pbs, frontline

BATON ROUGE - Both sides of the issue are claiming victory after last night's PBS special on the St. George incorporation effort called "Separate but Unequal." It claims the effort is rooted in segregation.

The spokesman for the St. George movement said PBS could've framed it better.

"It's unfortunate they wrapped it around socioeconomic situations and race," said Lionel Rainey. "It literally has nothing to do with this."

But others disagree saying race and economics would be severely impacted.

"Regardless of the intentions of St. George supporters, there are profound consequences regarding race and economic segregation with creating this city," said Belinda Davis, from the group One Community One School District.

Rainey said the issue of better schools with local control is universal. He said that the national exposure is helping their cause and they're expecting an increase in signatures because of it.

"I've gotten 13 calls from 11 different states, people asking how can they do this where they are," Rainey said.

Davis said the issues facing the EBR school system are better addressed by a united front and not divided along the city limits.

"We have a large number of students in our district in poverty," Davis said. "We have an obligation not only to middle and upper class families, but those children as well."

Organizers of St. George said they have more than 17,000 signatures on their petition and 18,000 are needed to bring it to a vote.

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