Earlier this week, the Cleveland School District once again filed a motion in U.S. District Court of Northern Mississippi asking Senior Judge Glen H. Davidson for additional time to confer and file a response to the Department of Justice objection to the school district's plan to further integrate East Side High School and D.M. Smith Middle School submitted on May 15.
In its May 15 plan, the school district mapped out multiple ways that it planned to integrate East Side and D.M. Smith schools.
The main component of that plan was to build and implement new magnet programs at East Side and D.M. Smith to attract white students from Cleveland High School and Margaret Green Junior High School.
As an answer to the district's plan, the Department of Justice said that it doubted the success of the district's plan to use magnet programs to attract white students, it made a motion to delay its response to the plan until Aug. 30.
On Aug. 30, the Department of Justice did indeed file an objection.
"This desegregation case has now been pending for more that 47 years, during which time the district has failed to achieve the court's directive to integrate its schools as soon as possible," said U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams in the objection paperwork. "More recently, on March 28, 2012, the court found that throughout these 47 years the district has failed to racially integrate one of its two high schools, East Side High School, and one of its two middle schools, D.M. Smith Middle School."
In conclusion, the United States asked that the court reject the plan of the district and order it to "devise a new plan that ensures East Side and D.M. Smith will be fully integrated by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year.
In this last motion from the school district dated Sept. 12, the district alleges that Davidson initial motion to file a plan "made no provision for any response by the district to the objections of the United States, stating instead that the court would, if necessary, schedule a hearing to resolve the government's objection to the plan."
According to the new motion, the school district is seeking an additional 30 days to confer with the Department of Justice about it's objections to the plan and come to a conclusion that both parties can agree on.
If the U.S. and the district fail to agree on a plan, the district shall file a response to the United State's objections on Oct. 12 and also may request the court to hold a hearing on any unresolved objections of the U.S. to the plan.
The Bolivar Commercial will continue to report on this matter as it unfolds.