BENTON, La. (KSLA) — The decision to send 371 Bossier K-12 students to different schools is one that multiple School Board members said they didn’t want to make.
Bob Hammonds, the School District’s attorney, said board members had to vote in favor of the proposal because of the current desegregation lawsuit with the federal government.
The lawsuit goes back to 1964, when the district was initially sued and required to diversify schools.
“This lawsuit went dormant in the courts and recently came back up,” Hammonds explained. “If we didn’t work on this proposal by Sept. 16, we would potentially face a contempt of court.”
Depending on the federal court’s decision on the proposal, there’s a possibility the lawsuit could be dropped.
The School Board invited members of the public to speak on the proposal before they took their vote Thursday.
Several parents spoke and were visibly upset about their children having to move to a different school next academic year.
“My two grandchildren have to now go to another school instead of their neighborhood school,” Sarah Yates said.
“I understand the board had to make this move. But it doesn’t make sense that they can’t go to a school right around the corner from where they live.”
Also Thursday, the School Board decided to end the district’s involvement in the Barksdale charter school.
For the past three years, the district has helped oversee development of the school.
The school now will serve as an on-base charter geared toward military families.
The Barksdale Global Power Museum Association is the head body over the school.
With Bossier School District’s decision, the association now will have to reach out to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for a charter.