NAACP files injunction against HISD

050714-ktrk-injunction-hisd-vid (KTRK)
May 7, 2014 1:15:06 PM PDT
The fight to save an embattled Houston ISD high school is now headed to court. The NAACP is taking HISD to court and at the center of the fight is Jones High School.

Earlier this year the district voted to repurpose the school but the civil rights group says it violated state law in making that decision.

The law in question is the Texas Open Meetings Act and the NAACP believes HISD violated it back in March when they voted to repurpose Jones High School.

Dr. James Douglas, former TSU President and Attorney Taft Foley walked into the civil courthouse to file an injunction today.

They believe the school district did not give the community the opportunity to voice their concerns over the repurposing of Jones High School.

Back on March 13, HISD held a school board meeting in part to discuss the closure of Jones. But instead they made an amendment to repurpose it and immediately voted on it.

According to the NAACP that is in direct violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act that states you must give the community at least 72 hours notice, before taking up a vote.

"The overall goal is to get HISDs attention, to let them know that we are not going to continue to sit by and let them under educate our kids," said Dr. Douglas.

"Once you cut off the access to education, you begin to see those communities to die of slowly and we are here to stop that from happening. We want those communities to live and we are willing to fight for their lives," said Attorney Foley.

In response, HISD issued the following statement:

"The district has not yet been served with the Petition, however it is our practice to carefully post and take action in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. We are excited to expand the district-wide Futures Academy program this fall and offer two new academies for students.

"Students who attend The Futures Academies at Jones will have two high-wage, high-demand career pathways to choose from: Health Sciences or Construction Technology. Health Sciences will give students the opportunity to work toward becoming a certified nurse assistant or certified personal trainer, with the possibility of going on to earn advanced degrees in nursing or physical therapy. Construction Technology will offer students the opportunity to work toward becoming an industrial electrician or HVAC technician, with the potential to earn advanced degrees in construction technology. Both programs will operate in partnership with Houston Community College."

The NAACP says it is now in the hands of the court.

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