Waiting for History to Happen: Richmond County Desegregation Case Still Not Settled

For nearly 50 years, Richmond County schools have been overseen by a court on all major decisions.

But that chapter of Richmond County's history could finally be coming to a close.

That court supervision is because of a judge's ruling that the Richmond County School Board was not doing enough to desegregate schools.

To prove things have come a long way in the intervening decades,  the BOE presented evidence like spending on buses, buildings, and books to show all schools and students are now treated fairly no matter their race.

Deputy Superintendent Tim Spivey says those abstract factors are important proof.

“It's important to show everything is being done equitably,” he says, “the instruction, building, athletic programs, everything is being done across the board, equitable.”

Superintendent Dr. Frank Roberson says the school's progress has been supported by a broader shift in the community.

“The original need that was brought 40 years ago, we're not criticizing that,” he says, “we're just saying we're in a different place now, the community is a very accommodating community and we're looking for progress from every single aspect of it.”

He says if and when the order is lifted, it will not only free Richmond County from court supervision, but from racial stigma.

“To have that stigma attached suggests it cannot be the type of community it needs to be without being regulated by a court order,” he explains.  “It's huge, more than huge, bigger than huge,” Roberson says.  “You can then walk boldly and say where you're from, and what system you're from and feel good about that.”

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