SPLC lawsuit alleges Mississippi education system discriminates against Black students

Photo: WJTV

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Bryant and other state leaders. The group is claiming that the state’s education system discriminates against African American students.

The plaintiffs are four Black mothers whose children attend kindergarten and first grade in the Jackson Public School District and the Yazoo City Municipal School District.

SPLC held a news conference Tuesday at their Jackson office.

“Mississippi is failing its most vulnerable children – those living in the shadow of a Jim Crow system that deliberately undermined education rights in the name of white supremacy,” said Will Bardwell, senior staff attorney in the SPLC’s Jackson office. “The state’s education system is shamefully inequitable and anything but uniform.”

The lawsuit alleges that black students in Mississippi don’t receive an education equal to White students.

“These children deserve the same strong start as any other students in their state, and we are committed to seeing that they get it,” said Brad Elias from O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Gov. Bryant released this statement about the lawsuit:

“This is merely another attempt by the Southern Poverty Law Center to fundraise on the backs of Mississippi taxpayers. While the SPLC clings to its misguided and cynical views, we will continue to shape Mississippi’s system of public education into the best and most innovative in America.”

Read the full lawsuit here. 

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