LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A federal judge has lifted a 39-year-old state-wide school desegregation order. The judge found that most school systems in the state have been released from desegregation orders by other federal judges.
The judge's decision does not affect schools that had their own desegregation orders that were separate from the state-wide case - both Tyler and Longview were unaffected.
Though Longview remains under the order, many feel it is something that has outlived its time.
Many remember how the kids got caught in the middle of the controversy when desegregation was ordered.
"Actually, I'm surprised," said Raymond McCarty, a student in the 70's. "I didn't know it was still in effect...I guess it was a noble thing to do but I thought all that was over with. I didn't know it was still a law."
LISD still abides by the 1970's judge's order. "Longview Independent School District has been in compliance with desegregation," said Adam Holland, LISD's public information officer.
Forty years ago there were clear reasons for enacting desegregation. "Forty years ago you might have had a brand new school on this side of town and a not so brand new school over here," said Holland. "Forty years ago kids didn't really have options."
But, today kids are not limited to going to one school. "There's equality in our campuses," said Holland.
Some districts, like Longview, have appealed to the Justice Department to have them removed from desegregation because it is outdated and unnecessary. "Voters approved us spending over $266,000,000," said Holland. "Every campus is either getting replaced or getting a major renovation."
It may have been enacted with good intentions, but time changes all things.
"Yeah, I think it helped," said McCarty. "I think it may have helped because there was a lot of tensions back in them days. I guess it did help bring us to where we are today."
"It's a different day in public school, especially in Longview Independent School District," said Holland.