School board chair to be accused of openly advocating segregation

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 2:52pm

Attorneys in the lawsuit against the city’s new student assignment plan say they will accuse school board chairman David Fox of openly advocating resegregation during community meetings last year.
A two-week trial in the NAACP-backed lawsuit is scheduled to begin Tuesday before federal Judge John Nixon.
Attorney Allen Woods, who represents families suing the school board, says witnesses will testify about public comments Fox made about the rezoning plan. The lawsuit seeks to toss out the plan, which ended the busing of black children from north Nashville to Hillwood and Hillsboro this school year.
“Chairman Fox clearly said that was the intent of the plan, to put African American students back in north Nashville where they live,” Woods says. “He identified students by race. We’ve got at least three witnesses to those meetings who are ready to testify as to what he said.”
In their complaint, the plaintiffs claim Fox said “more than once” that “African Americans cannot learn” and that they “are failing so the school board believes that they should separate and rezone” them to Pearl-Cohn schools.
Fox, who would not comment Wednesday to the City Paper about the lawsuit, did deny the accusations in an affidavit filed with the court. “For the record,” he says, “I have never made such a statement, and I affirmatively state that this was not the motivation or intent of the rezoning plan.”
Also in a statement at a board meeting in September, Fox said, “Our student assignment plan is not discriminatory and the lawsuit that has been filed in federal court is meritless.”
The NAACP says the plan rolls back decades of racial progress and dooms the city's poor, black children to a substandard education in segregated schools. To win their case, attorneys say they need to prove only that race was one of the factors in the school board’s decision to rezone students.
But at an initial hearing in the case in September, Metro attorney Kevin Klein contended the plan gives poor children from predominantly black sections of the city the opportunity to succeed in neighborhood schools.
Klein pointed out the school board voted to spend an additional $5 million a year to improve schools in north Nashville.
“This is Metro Nashville’s chance to take at-risk students and give them an opportunity to succeed,” Klein said, “but we’ve got to give it time, and we’ve got to stop pretending that busing students is the solution.”

16 Comments on this post:

By: localboy on 10/28/09 at 1:45

Do the "neighborhood schools" noted in the article bear any resemblance to old run-down schools to which blacks used to be segregated? I wonder if one of the fears is that these schools will be treated as second-class by the Board; no parent wants to see their child receive any less opportunity than the next.

By: nashvillejefferson on 10/28/09 at 2:24

I think the NAACP lawsuit might have some merit in there somewhere (though it seems to have an equal amount of crazy); like it or not, going back to strictly neighborhood schools is going to have some re-segregative effect. HOWEVER, I can't see how members of the School Board, especially Fox, would be dumb enough to own up to any segregative intent, even if somewhere deep down that's what the yes voters wanted.

By: idgaf on 10/28/09 at 4:45

How do you "segreigate" a majority? What exactly is wrong with neighborhood schools?

If they want to pay for busing let them choose whatever school they want to then fill in the whites and hispanics and others where there is room left over.

Its not like any school here is doing all that well.

The suit on its face is absurd but I hope they get someone beside Klien to represent us, he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

By: frank brown on 10/28/09 at 7:00

My neighbor is a horrid segregationist. He sent his kids to private school and openly said to all of us who could not afford private schools that he wanted to segregate his kids from trash. I am so mad!

By: jcdad2003 on 10/29/09 at 12:55

Neighborhood schools are better than busing simply because people can take ownership in a school in the community. As a former teacher in MNPS who taught at a school where 70-80% of the students had to take a one 12 mile to school everyday we had little parental involvement. It is considered to be a high poverty school, so most of the parents could not afford to come to the school due to no car or littlle money to fuel the car. I had been told by bus drivers and students that they passed two school buildings not being using everyday.

By: Kosh III on 10/29/09 at 6:09

The SB keeps saying they will spend 5 million extra to make the separate schools equal. Have they? It seems that agreeing to spend extra money in these schools is a tacit admission that the schools are lacking.

By: sidneyames on 10/29/09 at 6:31

By: frank brown on 10/28/09 at 8:00
My neighbor is a horrid segregationist. He sent his kids to private school and openly said to all of us who could not afford private schools that he wanted to segregate his kids from trash. I am so mad!

Frank, don't waste your energy on this man and his issues. Just remind him that to some people he might just be considered trash. And he probably went to a public school, so ask him "how did you turn out"?

When my friends bash the public school system I remind them that they were part of it growing up and if they would continue to participate, then maybe the schools would meet their expectations. Most who don't like public schools run from the problem like your "neighbor".

By: SirKnight on 10/29/09 at 7:45

frank, the guy may be a real jerk and snob, but he has every right to his opinion, doesn't he? If he has the financial means to put his kids in private schools, then no one can get angry about it. Unfortunately, he sees it as his right to piss on everybody else by calling all public-school-educated kids/families trash. So what?

By: Kosh III on 10/29/09 at 10:09

"and if they would continue to participate, then maybe the schools would meet their expectations. Most who don't like public schools run from the problem "

Amen. I went to public school and turned out just fine. I've got two advanced degrees.

By: slacker on 10/29/09 at 11:36

sidney, Frank is pulling your leg.

By: pswindle on 10/29/09 at 1:21

There are two schools in Nashville that is 90+ black,and they are Whites Creek and Maplewood, and that seems to be just fine with the blacks. I do not know of any school in Nashville that has that high percentage of whites. As long as it is a natural mixture, the schools will have a representative of all races. The economy as it is today, the gasoline has to be taken in concern of price.

By: dogmrb on 10/29/09 at 1:23

Bless their hearts. Soon they may have to build another wall around their compound wallss. Reminds me of the middle ages.

By: frank brown on 10/29/09 at 1:38


This neighbor of mine that sent his kids to private schools has built a wroght iron fence around his yard. He even has a gate that only opens with a code. I bet that fence and gate cost him $50,000 dollars. I said to him. "That's a nice gate." "What is the purpose of the gate?" He said to me. " I am going to sell it next year" "A realtor friend said that next to granite countertops that gates for homes in this neighborhood are a good investment" I walked away with my eyes crossed. I wanted to say something tacky but I am too much of a gentleman.

By: ucan on 10/29/09 at 4:52

The neighbor has the money and should do what he wants with it.

As for neighborhood schools, let the parents take their kids to whichever school they want to drive to, but don't use taxpayer money to bus them. If the parents don't like it, let them move to a district they like just like I did.

By: Xeroid on 10/29/09 at 10:29

It seems like many of you commentors have visual recognition problems. Have you not noticed that we still have just as many "big Yellow buses" running the streets, the budget is still increasing, and we seem to be busing the minority kids just the same. If all these kids live and attend "neighborhood" schools, then why do we need to transport them to their schools? I actually see very few students walking to Hunters Lane or Whites Creek, which are being called "neighborhood schools" . I walked 5-6 miles to school in East Nashville for 12 years and loved it.

By: FreedomJournal on 10/30/09 at 9:27



(Part 3: Forced Integration and The Plight of Black America)

Many so-called liberals and integrationist (who are Black and White) have a narrow vision of the world and Black people. They still feel that Freedom, Justice and Equality for Black people are magically found in mingling and integrating with White people. How can the mere fact that a Black child sits in the same room with a White child cause a surge of unrealized intelligence and learning?
What is the difference between equal rights and integration? Black people want equal rights. If in order to obtain equal rights, they have to be around White people so be it. But the claims by the integrationist that the mere presence of White people around Black people affords equality and magical advantages are lost in the hopeless state of Blacks who actually feel they are inferior to Whites.

Black people need their own schools. There is nothing wrong with White private schools, Jewish private schools or Catholic schools. Due to the history of Blacks in America if anybody needs their own schools we do. It is for sure that the majority of Blacks in America know very little about their history and culture. White racism generated by insincere liberals and various sycophants have promoted negative ideas about Black culture. These same people have also refused to note the realities of the economics of racism and how this system has co-opted our leadership and organizations.

Thus, many of our people have become fools because they are too lazy to think for themselves. Meanwhile many Blacks are afraid to stand up for anything and have a fear that is reflective of the fear placed in Black people by harsh and cruel slave masters. Fear in the Black community causes an abnormal behavior in Black people. The result of this fear is the Black attack on anything or anybody that attempts to record the truth about the Black experience in America. For the record, do more Black people oppose the Freedom Journal than White racists?

It is clear then that separation does not mean segregation. Why does anything solely created and controlled by Black people cause some people to question its existence? If White people and Jews can have their holidays, schools, clubs etc. why can't Black people do the same?

Since nothing is wrong with separate organizations, all Black marches or all Black schools etc., there is also nothing wrong with integration. The foolish and mis-guided Black leadership who re-defined desegregation to mean integration has caused a great deal of confusion. There is a need to address the on-going confusion. The integrationist need to stop attempting any aspect of forced integration. What we need are quality schools. Also we note that the inclusion of White people based on alleged White superiority does not make schools equal or insure quality education for Black children.

Black people need to work toward quality neighborhoods schools and have some impact on the staff and the curriculums. Integration is a natural development that cannot be forced upon other people. Black people want equal rights not integration. Is integration another means for Black charlatans to beg money from the guilty conscience of insincere racists? Do White philanthropists continue to seek to control the destiny of Black America?

Peace and Love,
Dr. Carl A. Patton, FreedomJournal Press update 30 October 2009