Parties Agree to Hold NAACP School Lawsuit Against Nebraska

Oct. 26, 2006

Parties to a federal lawsuit charging the State of Nebraska with passing a law that would create racially and ethnically separate school districts in violation of Brown v. Board of Education's prohibition against state-sponsored segregation have agreed to put the federal case on hold while a related state court case proceeds.

The federal case is NAACP by its Omaha Branch, et al. v. David Heineman, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of Nebraska, et al., No. 8:06-CV-371 (D. Nebraska 2006). The parties filed the joint motion with the federal court Oct.18. The judge has since approved the agreement.

The parties agreed that the "stay" of the NAACP action would remain in effect until the temporary injunction in the state court case is either dissolved or made permanent after appeal. The state court case is Chicano Awareness Center et al. v. Heineman, Doc. 1063 No. 959 (D. Douglas County Neb. 2006).

"The 'stay' protects our interest in keeping the State from implementing this misguided law," said NAACP General Counsel Dennis Courtland Hayes. "If the Chicano Awareness injunction is dissolved, or made permanent after appeal, we are free to proceed with our federal case. And if the State has not corrected the problem, we will be back guaranteed."

"The NAACP is pleased that a state judge stopped a bad policy from proceeding which ultimately would have harmed all of Omaha's children," said Michael Wotorson, NAACP National Education Director.

In the meantime, Omaha NAACP Branch President Tommie Wilson indicates that the local NAACP unit will be engaging in a variety of activities designed to protect the interests of the children, including:

? closely monitoring the Chicano Awareness case;

? hosting a community forum on October 30;

? investigating student transfers out of Omaha public schools to District 66;

? reviewing the local and state public education funding mechanism for equity;

? beginning to review public policies that impact fair housing and racial isolation of public school students.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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