The Thomasville City school system’s victory in court for accusations of racial discrimination by the Thomas County NAACP has left a huge price tag, and officials with the school system have learned they'll have to pay those legal fees on their own.
Thomasville City school system's director of operations is in the process of pulling invoices, to account for legal bills in the discrimination lawsuit filed against the system. So far the cost of judicial victory after five years is up to $329,000.
"We've got some more invoices to go through. It's going to be a long process but we should be able to get to that probably by the end of this month or next month," says David Jetter of Thomasville City Schools.
Since the lawsuit was filed, the anticipated court costs were earmarked in past budgets, so all fees have been paid. The president of the Thomas County NAACP did not want to comment about court costs or otherwise, but in a written statement says, "We will continue to work within the bounds of the law to eradicate disparate treatment and promote equal opportunity for all our citizens."
"The NAACP filed the lawsuit and they should pay for all the cost. I don't think the city School System should be responsible for the costs," says Barbara Gordon, a Thomas County resident.
Jetter is against not being reimbursed by the NAACP because that money could go elsewhere in the school system, but he's found a silver lining.
"With state cuts coming down it's a good feeling not to have to put this in the budget for next year."
School officials say the school system will not take on any new courts costs unless the NAACP appeals the ruling and they go back to court.