Testimony has just wrapped up in a federal courtroom in Thomasville. The local NAACP Chapter is accusing the city school system of racial discrimination. It took some two and a half weeks for both sides to present their respective cases. Attorneys from each side spent the last few weeks presenting evidence and taking testimony from witnesses, wrapping that up Wednesday. However, no ruling was made.
Thomasville students were back in class this week, and while they were taking notes, their schools system was fighting a case of racial discrimination across town in a federal courtroom.
"I was shocked, I didn't realize there was so much going on, some of the things that was going on I had no idea," says Rosa James.
Thomas County's NAACP is claiming that Thomasville schools are not properly desegregated.
"I left the city school system 20 years ago because of the same thing, the unfairness," says Oneida Jackson-Carter.
However, Chiquita Duncan, mother of a Thomasville City school second grader, says the system is fair.
"I haven't personally had any problems as far, she's only been there two years, going into her second year and things have gone very well," Duncan says.
And that's what the school system's attorney Jerry Lumley says about the trial. He tells us he's optimistic, saying the evidence presented was favorable for the district, and that any racial imbalances that do occur in the schools are not a result of unconstitutional misconduct.
We were not able to reach the NAACP's attorney Tom Henderson, who is en route back to Washington, but it is clear the NAACP and several parents disagree; otherwise they wouldn't have taken the case to court.
Attorneys for both sides are preparing briefs of the trial, and once that is done they say the judge should make a ruling, hopefully by the end of the year. The system's attorney says it has cost the Thomasville school district at least $200,000.
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