In City’s School Discrimination Lawsuit, Burden Of Proof Is ‘Did They Mean To?’

PUBLIC RADIO FROM UA LITTLE ROCK, 06 SEPTEMBER 2017, FEAT. PROF. DEREK BLACK

It’s been 60 years since Central High School was forced to desegregate, but a federal lawsuit now claims the Little Rock School District is racially biased when it comes to investing in facilities and programs.

Proving that’s true in fact won’t be enough to win the case, though. The suit’s authors will have to prove district officials set out to discriminate.

The lawsuit, scheduled for trial next week, is brought by state representative and local civil rights attorney John Walker, claims the school district provides worse buildings and fewer academic opportunities in its majority-black schools.

At issue in the case is the alleged disrepair of some majority black schools and the recent construction of a new middle school in West Little Rock, a part of town that is overwhelmingly white.

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