A federal judge delivered a disappointing ruling on Friday to a St. Louis mother who believes desegregation rules are discriminating against her son, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
La’Shieka White sued Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation’s race-based transfer program. She argued that because of her third-grade son’s race, he can no longer attend the Gateway Science Academy, where he’s been going to school since kindergarten.
In the lawsuit, White stated that she moved with her three children to “escape the rampant crime in St. Louis” to a “better home” in the suburbs. But that relocation created a problem. Under current rules, her son Edmund Lee would be permitted to continue attending Gateway if he was “non Black.” White argued that the desegregation program violates his constitutional right to equal protection.
But U.S. District Judge Ronnie White didn’t see things that way. In his ruling, the judge dismissed her case on several grounds. He said, among other things, that the court has not declared that the school system recovered from the effects of past segregation. Therefore, she can’t challenge the race-based program on equal protection grounds.
Joshua Thompson, the lead attorney for the group representing White, expressed disappointment in the judge’s ruling. He also said in the statement that they knew this would not be an easy battle:
“From the beginning we knew this case might need to be decided, ultimately, by the U.S. Supreme Court. We are prepared to go all the way to that level, if necessary, to stop St. Louis-area schools from turning away students based on their color.”
In the lead up to the lawsuit, White launched an online petition drive that gathered more than 136,000 signatures.
White said she wanted the petition campaign “to be about all children,” regardless of their race.
SOURCE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter