In a major ruling for school integration, the 11th Circuit Federal Appeals Court ruled that Gardendale can’t split away to form its own district because its motives were to resegregate. 

“A federal appeals court ruled today that Gardendale can’t form its own school system and agreed with a judge’s finding that racial motives were involved in the attempt to split from the Jefferson County system.

“It’s a ruling Gardendale plans to appeal.

“The three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Haikala rescind the part of her order from last year that allowed Gardendale to secede over a three-year period from Jefferson County schools and form its own system.

“Circuit Judge William Pryor, a former Alabama Attorney General, wrote the opinion.

“The district court (Haikala) found that the Gardendale Board acted with a discriminatory purpose to exclude black children from the proposed school system and, alternatively, that the secession of the Gardendale Board would impede the efforts of the Jefferson County Board to fulfill its desegregation obligations,” according to the 11th Circuit opinion. “Despite these findings, the district court devised and permitted a partial secession that neither party requested.”

This is a major setback to the movement for resegregation.

It is a relief to see a federal court once again defending justice.

Now, on to the U.S. Supreme Court, which once ruled consistently to uphold the Brown decision but has backed away recently.