The superintendent of Caddo schools says he is "pleased" that an effort to get a court order halting the renovations and merger of two Shreveport high schools has been dropped.
Alumni and parents of Shreveport's Fair Park High School filed a lawsuit to stop the merger of Fair Park High School and Booker T. Washington High School earlier this month. A vote to merge the schools and turn into a middle school was held in January.
According to the group's attorney Allison Jones, the school board started renovations to the building while classes were in session.
She said that the group felt that this was disruptive and asked for the federal court's assistance to both stop both the renovations and merger.
After learning that a hearing regarding the matter would take place after school was out, the group withdrew the request.
According to a statement released Thursday afternoon by Dr. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Parish Public Schools, the request was dropped after a status conference May 16 "wherein it was clear that the plaintiffs could not meet their burden to stop the merger. As such, plaintiffs withdrew their request for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction; therefore, Fair Park will become a middle school as ordered by the Caddo Parish School Board for the fall semester of 2017."
The Caddo Parish School Board provided evidence that no discrimination occurred and the decision to change Fair Park into a middle school was not race based. The school board also offered evidence that proved the decision to change the configuration of the schools was properly within the discretion of the board. The school board was prepared to submit evidence on Monday in order to have the court dismiss the request for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. The school board is confident the court would have dismissed the claims of plaintiffs as being meritless.
The lawsuit regarding the merger is still moving forward.
Dr. Goree ended his statement by saying,
The Caddo Parish School Board plans to vigorously defend the baseless claims of plaintiffs if they continue to pursue this matter. In closing, I would like to reiterate that our commitment to provide the students and parents of Caddo Parish the best possible school system will not waver. Our mission is to give all of our children the best opportunity to live their dreams through a good K through 12 education and graduate career and college prepared.
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