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Lawsuit Settled by Alabama School District
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On Tuesday, Unites States officials announced that a school district from Alabama has agreed to hire more non-whites. The reason for this is because of a lawsuit from 50 years ago that stemmed from the segregation of blacks and whites. The school district of Fort Payne City reached a settlement with the Department of Justice. The settlement requires the district to hire a more diverse workforce of administrators, teachers and general staff. Fort Payne is a city predominately made up of white citizens.

The agreement between the district and the government was filed in federal district court in Birmingham. The agreement is part of the statewide lawsuit Lee v. Macon County Board of Education, which was filed in 1963 during civil rights protests. Justice Department officials said that the lawsuit is just one of hundreds still open regarding desegregation in school districts across the country.


The school district of Fort Payne was told decades ago to use a desegregation plan but was then placed on an inactive list back in 1974 when it was found that the district was complying with the law. The Justice Department looked at the district’s progress in 2006 and found that it fell short when it came to hiring staff and faculty that were not white.

According to the enrollment and staff information from the school district for 2011-12, the school employed no black administrators and only four black teachers out of 199. There are 3,100 students enrolled, of which only 116 are black. The court order said that the district will recruit possible employees at historically black colleges and universities. The district will also track the race of all its applicants. The court order also said that the district will change its student transfer policy, with the majority of students transferring from and to the school are white. Officials said that the district has only two years to comply with the order.

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