Sunday, January 16, 2022

Should Judicial Watch sue Richland 2?

I received an email this week from Judicial Watch, reporting its "win" against the City of Asheville, N.C. in a Federal lawsuit. What was the lawsuit?

Judicial Watch had sued the City of Asheville, N.C. over its racially-discriminatory scholarship program.

Would Judicial Watch file a lawsuit against Richland 2 for its 100 Premier Men of Color Program?

Should a lawsuit even be necessary? When district residents complain about a discriminatory activity by the School District, shouldn't that be enough for the School Board to rein in the superintendent and end a discriminatory program?

This Program has appaerntly never been approved by the Richland 2 School Board. The superintendent reminded the board last year that he is not evaluated on it in his annual performance review. Yet he seems to devote considerable time to it. Recently, Service Solutions (the district's contracted janitorial company) began donating $15,000/year to the district with "strings attached". 

The City of Asheville caved pretty quickly. Judicial Watch filed its lawsuit in October 2021, and it was over on January 11, 2022, when the Asheville City Council approved a settlement.

The January 15, 2022 email from Judicial Watch read:

"The City of Asheville, North Carolina, settled our federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. The city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators. The City Council approved the settlement on January 11.

"In October 2021, we filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina on behalf of a North Carolina citizens group, WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., whose members include high school students who were ineligible for a scholarship program only because they are not Black (WNC Citizens for Equality, Inc., v. City of Asheville et al. (No. 1:21-cv-00310)). (The Legal Insurrection Foundation partnered with us in the lawsuit.)

"Here’s the background. On May 5, 2021, the City of Asheville entered into an agreement with the Asheville City Schools Foundation to establish and administer the City of Asheville Scholarship Fund. According to the agreement, the City of Asheville Scholarship is “awarded in perpetuity to Black high school students within Asheville City Schools, with special consideration given for Black students pursuing a career in education.” (In July 2020, Ashville’s City Council unanimously approved what is called a “reparations initiative,” that provided “funding to programs geared toward increasing homeownership and business and career opportunities for Black residents.”)

"To settle our civil rights lawsuit, on January 11, 2022, Asheville’s City Council approved a resolution that removes the racial criteria for the scholarship:

[T]he scholarship will give preference to applicants whose household members, including parents and/or guardians have a high school education or less, these applicants representing “first generation” college students.
"The City Council also removed racially discriminatory language for a scholarship program for educators and staff of Asheville City Schools.

"The scholarship agreements were also amended to prohibit discrimination based on race and other categories.

"Our clients, a group of Asheville residents, including high school students, courageously challenged this blatantly discriminatory and illegal scholarship program in federal court.

"Thankfully, the City of Asheville did the right thing in quickly ending these indefensible race-based scholarship programs.

"This federal lawsuit and the resulting remarkable settlement should serve as a wake-up call to those activists and allied politicians pushing the extremist leftist agenda to segregate and discriminate based on race."