Gardendale Officials Won't Appeal Split Denial

Mar 1, 2018

Gardendale High School, Gardendale, Ala.

The city of Gardendale, Alabama has stopped its efforts to form its own school district after a federal appeals court ruled the mostly white city can’t legally separate from the mostly black Jefferson County School System.

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland and City Schools Board of Education President Michael Hogue sent a letter to the Jefferson County Board of Education yesterday saying they will not appeal the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision, and will not seek to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

On February 13, the 11th Circuit panel ruled that U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Haikala had “abused her discretion” in creating her own remedy rather than denying Gardendale’s split from Jefferson County, after her ruling that the split was racially biased. Birmingham-area schools are still bound by a desegregation order dating back to 1971.

Gardendale officials deny the attempted split had any racially-based motives.