School system abuzz with court speculation

The education community is abuzz with speculation about what may or may not happen in federal court Monday relative to St. Landry Parish public schools.

One thing is not in doubt - the federal government is running out of patience on the question of principal assignments.

U.S. Dist. Judge Tucker Melancon has ordered all 13 board members, the superintendent, pertinent staff members, and all attorneys of record to an 11 a.m. hearing.

According to the judge's order, in which he made no effort to hide his exasperation, the purpose of the appearance is to assign principals for the 2008-09 school year.

The judge directed all parties concerned to be expressly familiar with certain portions of a hearing back in January, and sent each involved party a transcript by registered mail this month.

Bottom line:

If there are black principals at historically black schools or white principals at historically white schools, the system is in violation of the law.

And if the board cannot or will not change the assignments, the court and the Department of Justice will.

A DOJ representative at that January told the court "that it may be in the best interest of justice for the United Sates to pick principals and where they are assigned."

The same day he ordered Monday's hearing Melancon denied a board request for a meeting relative to the assignment of an elementary school principal.

Acadia Parish Today

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