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Ferguson-Florissant Schools Sued Over At-Large Board Elections

Ferguson-Florissant parent Redditt Hudson, attorney Dale Ho, and past school candidate Willis Johnson at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant schools on December 18. (Diane Balogh/ACLU of Missouri)
Ferguson-Florissant parent Redditt Hudson, attorney Dale Ho, and past school candidate Willis Johnson at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant schools on December 18. (Diane Balogh/ACLU of Missouri)

 

(St. Louis Public Radio) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, along with its national voting rights division, has sued the Ferguson-Florissant School District over the way members of the school board are elected.

“Every community has the right to representation in their government,” said Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project. “Unfortunately for too long, African-Americans in the Ferguson-Florissant school district have been denied that opportunity.”

The lawsuit alleges that the current method of electing school board members at large, rather than from individual districts, violates section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act because it prevents African-Americans from having a say in how the schools are run. Even though African-Americans are a minority of the voting-age population in the district, the suit says, more than 75 percent of the students are black.

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