Ticking off magnet parents and students may have gotten the Wake County school board majority its first legal challenge.
As noted in today's article, many of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Thursday are either magnet parents or students. Anther common theme is their opposition to the changes to the diversity policy being backed by the new majority.
For instance, Enloe High School and Ligon Middle School are well represented among the plaintiffs.
Judith Pidcock is the mother of students at Enloe and Ligon. Colethia Evans is the mother of a Ligon student.
Woody Barlow is a junior at Enloe. David Eisenstadt is a sophomore at Enloe.
Andrew Snee is a freshman at Broughton High, which was demagnetized. He has a younger sibling at Conn Elementary.
Snee and Eisenstadt founded the Student Army of Wake County Facebook page that is organizing the May 18 school board protest.
Gerald Wright is executive director of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children. His wife, Calla, is the group's president. As a school employee it would have been difficult for her to be a plaintiff.
I don't know much about Barbara Garlock and Erin Byrd other than the former is a cancer patient and the latter does have children somewhere in the school system.
Barlow said he was so outraged at how the school board handled the March 23 meeting with the ticket policy that he researched the state Open Public Meetings Law. He said he had contacted the ACLU, which told him they were considering their own lawsuit.
Snee said he had been contacted by the ACLU about being a plaintiff.
The crux of the lawsuit is the contention that the board majority knew that turnout would be high but chose not to move the meetings to a larger venue in order to discourage public participation that might jeopardize their plans.
Barlow said the focus of the lawsuit is not the diversity policy but the alleged violation of the state Open Public Meetings Law. But the plaintiffs aren't just asking that the court order the board to move future meetings to larger venues. They're also asking that the March 23 vote on the community assignment directive and the May 4 first reading on the student assignment policy revision be declared void.
Both school board chairman Ron Mariogtta and board member John Tedesco accused the plaintiffs of taking away resources from the classroom to fight the lawsuit. (Since someone will probably note that Margiotta supported the Wake CARES lawsuit, he did encourage the board to not contest that case.)
Tedesco said they'll just revote again if they lose the lawsuit. He said he doesn't expect a different result.
But revotes would back up the process even more for the board majority to impelment community schools. Future legal action could put the process even further behind.