Mississippi is being sued for discriminating against black stude - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi is being sued for discriminating against black students

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi is being sued over claims of discriminating against black students. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims the state's breaking the law that readmitted Mississippi to the union after the Civil War. It says the state must never deprive citizens of "school rights and privileges."

READ MORE: Lawsuit: Mississippi fails to educate black children equally

This is more than a legal issue. It's an emotional one for four mothers who told their stories through tears Tuesday. Precious Hughes has a six-year-old daughter in kindergarten at Raines Elementary in Jackson.

"How am I as a mother supposed to answer her when she asked me why she can't attend a better school?" asked Hughes.

Hughes feels like her child deserves better. But she can't change where they live to fall in line with a better district.

"I can't afford to move my family to one of the school districts," added Hughes. "I know I'm not the only mother who feels this way."

The lawsuit isn't a money issue. The lawsuit doesn't ask for more funding. It just wants the state to provide a level playing field of quality education, no matter where the school's located or who's enrolled. 

"The state has an obligation to make the schools that black kids attend equal to the schools that white kids attend," said mother Indigo Williams.

Williams says her son went to a school in Madison at one time and she says the predominately white school afforded him more educational opportunities.

"It sends a horrible message to my son that the type of education he gets depends on the color of his skin," added Williams.

Governor Phil Bryant sent the following statement:

This is merely another attempt by the Southern Poverty Law Center to fundraiser on the backs of Mississippi taxpayers. While the SPLC clings to its misguided and cynical views, we will continue to shape Mississippi's system of public education into the best and most innovative in America. 

Lt. Governor Tate Reeves sent this statement:

“Obviously, we can’t comment on the specifics of a lawsuit we haven’t seen. For the first time in my lifetime, significant progress is being made by our students through higher graduation rates and test scores. Rather than celebrate that progress, liberal groups like this one fight even harder for an educational system that focuses on the adults, not the children, and force us to waste millions of tax dollars on lawsuits that could be spent in our classrooms.

“The irony of a fringe organization that is already suing the state to protect the status quo in opposition to providing school choices to minority students while now simultaneously suing the state based on the fact those same failing districts aren’t adequately educating those same minority students is almost laughable.  They obviously have more lawyers than they have ‘causes’."

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