United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
JIMMY ANDREWS, ET AL.
MONROE CITY SCHOOL BOARD, ET AL.
L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE
G. JAMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are cross-motions filed by the United States
Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Monroe City
School Board (“MCSB”). The DOJ filed a Motion for
Further Relief [Doc. No. 211] under the Second Amended
Consent Decree to address MCSB's compliance with the
provisions regarding the Carroll High School Medical Magnet
Program. MCSB, joined by individual Defendant, Dr. Brent
Vidrine (“Dr. Vidrine”), filed a Motion to
Terminate Judicial Supervision and to Declare the Monroe City
School District Unitary (“Motion to Terminate”)
[Doc. No. 221]. Individual Plaintiffs Annie Faye Harris
(“Harris”) and Benya F. Marshall
(“Marshall”) have been notified of all
proceedings, but neither Plaintiff has made any
following reasons, the Court finds that the Monroe City
School District (“the District”) has achieved
unitary status in the sole remaining area of teacher and
principal assignments. The Court further finds that the MCSB
has achieved substantial compliance with the Second Amended
Consent Decree [Doc. No. 141], such that further judicial
supervision is unnecessary. Accordingly, the DOJ's Motion
for Further Relief is DENIED, and MCSB's Motion to
Terminate is GRANTED.
more than 50 years, MCSB has operated the District under a
desegregation decree. On August 5, 1965, a complaint was
filed in the name of then-minor students, Jimmy Andrews and
Tommy Ray Robertson, by their mothers, against the City of
Monroe (“the City”), the Mayor, the members of
the School Board, and the Superintendent. On September 17,
1965, the Court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting
Defendants from operating a bi-racial school system.
August 1, 1969, the Court issued a desegregation decree. In
this decree, the Honorable Ben C. Dawkins, Jr., approved a
modified desegregation plan proposed by the School Board,
(1) Following a zoning plan proposed by the Monroe City
(2) Allowing any student in the majority race at his school
to transfer to a school where he would be in the minority
(3) Refusing students the opportunity to transfer from a
school in the District to a school under the direction of the
Ouachita Parish School Board;
(4) Allowing the School Board to appoint a bi-racial advisory
committee to assist in the desegregation of schools; and
(5) Submitting a plan by February 1, 1970, to accomplish full
integration or desegregation of the school system.
August 1, 1969 decree was subsequently modified on November
4, 1969; February 11, 1970; February 24, 1970; August 5,
1970; July 30, 1971; January 27, 1972; August 16, 1973;
August 30, 1973; August 15, 1988; June 7, 1989; July 6, 1992;
April 29, 1998; August 4, 1998; December 18, 2000; July 26,
2000; August 8, 2005; March 30, 2010; July 25, 2011; June 20,
2012; December 11, 2015; March 24, 2016; and April 14, 2016.
February 16, 1970, the DOJ intervened as amicus curiae. On
May 11, 1978, the Court granted DOJ's motion to formally
intervene, and DOJ has been active in the case since that
6, 1992, the Honorable Tom Stagg granted MCSB's motion
for unitary status in part and declared the District unitary
in the areas of facilities, extracurricular activities, and
hiring and retention of teachers and administrators. Judge
Stagg denied MCSB's motion in part, finding that the
District was not unitary in the areas of teacher and
principal assignments, student assignments, and
9, 1998, Marshall and Harris were permitted to join the case
as individual Plaintiffs and remain actively involved.
March 26, 2010, the DOJ and MCSB filed a proposed Consent
Decree with the Court. Plaintiffs did not object. On March
30, 2010, the Court signed the Consent Decree [Doc. No. 16],
which again modified the August 1, 1969 Decree. The Consent
Decree provided for specific actions to be taken by the
School Board, culminating in a review of the District's
unitary status at the end of June, 2014. Among other items,
the parties agreed that the “District will offer the
same courses at every high school in the District, including,
but not limited to AP, pre-AP, Honors, Dual Enrollment, and
Distance Learning courses.” Id. Information
about the course offerings was to be disseminated to junior
high and middle school students beginning in the seventh
grade. Id. Additionally, MCSB agreed to “work
with the Equity Assistance Center of the Intercultural
Development Research Association (IDRA) in order to ensure
that all students have equitable opportunity to participate
in Gifted, Honors, pre-AP, and AP programming at all schools
in the District.” Id.
25, 2011, the Court issued an Order [Doc. No. 38] granting
the School Board's Motion for Partial Relief from
Judgment, again modifying the August 1, 1969 Decree, to
provide for the reassignment of sixth grade students at
Cypress Point Elementary School to Sallie Humble Elementary
School for the 2011-2012 school year. Additionally, the
School Board was directed to “petition the Court to
approve the School Board's proposed comprehensive
attendance plan for implementation prior to the commencement
of the 2012-2013 school year.” Id.
MCSB retained a demographer, Michael Hefner
(“Hefner”), to assist in the development of a new
attendance zone plan. After Hefner completed his report and
made his recommendations to MCSB, on May 25, 2012, in
compliance with the Court's July 25, 2011 Order, MCSB
filed a Motion for Partial Relief from Judgment [Doc. No.
48]. The DOJ did not oppose the motion, but Plaintiffs did
oppose the motion. [Doc. No. 51]. The School Board also filed
a reply memorandum [Doc. No. 52]. After review, on June 20,
2012, the Court granted the motion, making certain zoning
changes, which remain in place.
2010 and 2014, MCSB filed the annual October 15 status
reports required by the Court's August 14, 2008 Order and
the annual June 30 status reports required by the March 30,
2010 Consent Decree. Neither the DOJ nor the individual
Plaintiffs raised any concerns during this time period about
the Green factors or MCSB's compliance with the
March 30, 2010 Consent Decree.
13, 2014, the Court issued a minute entry [Doc. No. 75]. In
that entry, the Court stated:
The parties' March 30, 2010 Consent Decree remains
pending before the Court. In its June 19, 2012 Minutes [Doc.
No. 55], the Court previously instructed the parties to
identify and address any unresolved issues which would
prevent the Court from conducting a unitary status review on
or after June 30, 2014. If the parties could not resolve the
issues amicably, they were instructed to notify the Court and
request a hearing. The parties have not contacted the Court
about unresolved issues, nor have they requested a status
conference on this topic. Accordingly, the Court anticipates
that the parties will file a joint motion for unitary status
on or after June 30, 2014.
If the Department of Justice, the Monroe City School
Board, or the individual Plaintiffs have any remaining
concerns about issues related to the Green factors,
they must file a motion for ...