A federal appeals court has ruled that the mostly white city of Gardendale, Ala., cannot detach its students from a racially mixed county school system by forming its own district.
The court ruled that U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala must rescind the part of her 2017 order that allowed Gardendale to form its own system. Last spring, she granted Gardendale permission to start its own system, with conditions, even though she concluded that race was the main motivation for the split. Advocates for racially mixed schools argued that Haikala’s ruling rolled back decades-long efforts to desegregate schools in the South.
The appeals court ruled this month that Haikala did not err by declaring that racial segregation was behind the push for secession, but the panel of judges did conclude that she abused her discretion by allowing partial secession anyway.
A version of this article appeared in the February 28, 2018 edition of Education Week as Appeals Court Rules Mostly White City Cannot Form Segregated District