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School district in court for discrimination suit

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BATON ROUGE - A discrimination case filed against the Ascension Parish School Board in 2008 began Tuesday with opening statements and testimony from school board members and parents in the district.

The case stems from a move the board made in 2008 to help alleviate overcrowding at Dutchtown Middle by redistricting which neighborhoods would feed into the three East bank high schools; East Ascension, Dutchtown, & St. Amant.

The plantiff in the case argued that the redistricting put a disproportionate amount of 'non-white' and 'at-risk' students into East Ascension High, leaving his students with less opportunity than students at St. Amant or Dutchtown.

School Board President Troy Gautreau, testified that while an increased number of 'at-risk' students can present challenges for educators, it doesn't mean fewer opportunities and can often come with increased resources.

The case is expected to continue for another two days, but Federal Judge Brain Jackson isn't expected to make an immediate ruling at the conclusion of the trial.


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