Agreement approved to settle school desegregation lawsuit in St. - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Agreement approved to settle school desegregation lawsuit in St. James

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A federal judge has approved an agreement that will settle a more than 50-year-old lawsuit to desegregate schools in St. James Parish

The agreement, approved yesterday, will address all remaining issues in the case and end court supervision of schools once the consent order is completed.

Under the agreement, the parish must desegregate three elementary schools that are nearly all black.

The district's code of conduct must be revised to address student misbehavior in nondiscriminatory ways. School officials also have to recruit diverse faculty and staff. The student handbook will have to be updated with statements that prohibit discrimination in extracurricular activities and encourage participation by students of all races.

Once those changes are made, the consent order will be lifted in three years.

St. James Parish School Board President Ed Cancienne released the following statement: "We're very pleased we were able to settle a 52-year-old lawsuit. We think this is a very, very positive step forward. Hopefully, we will be declared unitary status within three years."

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