CATAHOULA, La. — Parents in Catahoula are doing everything they can to turn back a decision by a federal judge to shut down Catahoula Elementary.
This comes after a judge said the school board did not do enough to integrate the schools and therefore must close the school for the 2021-2022 school year. Plus, the school board will be under court supervision for at least three years.
“This is about all the kids in our parish,” said one parent, pointing out the work laid out for these parents in the next weeks.
“I did not feel good at all,” said Harper Dugas, who is going into the third grade in the fall, but not at her usual school.
Another parent stated it is not their fault the school is shut down, yet they are the ones affected.
“We are living where we are living,” said Kate White. “We are going to the schools we’re zoned for, that’s not our problem. If they want to move out here or want to have their kid come in, they can.”
Similarly, a former Catahoula Elementary employee says transferring from this school to St. Martinville Primary or Early Learning Center would impact the kids, especially culturally.
“I believe transporting these children away from an environment that’s been indigenous for 70 years, is like, the term you’ve all heard, culture cancellation,” said Betty Ardoin.
An alternative, she says, to closing the school is to leave it open and keep trying to reach unitary status.
“Leave them here,” she said. “Continue with the deseg plans. They’ve done, this school and faculty, has done the best they could according to the mandate from the school board to follow the deseg recs.”
The two people who organized the meeting say they are getting ready to take legal action.
When asked exactly who they are going after, they say they are waiting for their legal team to let them know.
READ MORE: Catahoula Elementary closed after judge rules out unitary status
UPDATE: Superintendent issues statement on desegregation ruling
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