A desegregation lawsuit involving the Richmond County, Ga., school system might soon be over, after nearly 49 years.
In an uncommon judicial move, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. has ordered the lawyers and parties involved to attend a hearing June 17, the anniversary of the filing of Robert L. Acree v. the Richmond County Board of Education.
Each side will present reasons to convince the judge that the desegregation case should remain open—or else it will be closed.
“It would hardly be a stretch to say that the current level of integration within the facilities, staffing, elected school board, and student population of the Richmond County school system vastly exceeds any likely expectation of the original plaintiffs and their attorneys at the time of the filing,” Judge Bowen wrote.
The case has outlived many of the original lawyers and plaintiffs.
A version of this article appeared in the June 12, 2013 edition of Education Week as Judge Wants Closure in 1964 Race Case