Huntsville City School Board passes proposed consent order

Huntsville City School Board passes proposed consent order

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville City School Board has passed the proposed consent order they reached with the Department of Justice on Friday afternoon.

Officials were in a meeting Friday for more than three hours discussing the issue.

The district and the Department of Justice spent months working with a mediator to come up with this plan.

In an open meeting, school board members were able to get clarifications on certain elements and ask questions to the board's attorney. First, the school board attorney, J.R. Brooks, went over the history of the long-standing desegregation order.

Throughout the meeting, the board went through the order piece by piece. For a while, the discussion centered on majority to minority transfers and then moved to issues like school security and magnet programs.

Brooks said this order is certainly a compromise for both parties. But, he believes what was approved Friday is what is best for students.

"There are some parts of it, that the board members, as you could tell from their questions, might rather not be there but they understood what is in the best interest," said Brooks. "That it is negotiated. And understood what they were trying to do was in the best interest of the city"

Brooks also said this is the first major step on the path towards achieving unitary status and getting out from under the desegregation order.

"I would say to parents and grandparents like myself, today is a historic day and your school system is the better for it," said Brooks.

The next step for the district is to present the board-approved order to the U.S. district judge, alongside the Department of Justice on March 11.

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