Are Troy City Schools Segregated?

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By Brittany Bivins

Troy City Councilwoman Dejerilyn King Henderson says there is still too much racial segregation in the Troy City School system, and her comments are drawing a lot of controversy in Troy.

In a letter Dejerilyn King Henderson sent to elected officials, the Troy City School system, and the U.S. Department of Justice, the councilwoman said the school system did not fully integrate black, white and Hispanic children in its classrooms.

She says in her 33 years as a teacher, she had classrooms with only African American children.

"I questioned it several times, and I was told by the administration that the reason that no white children or Caucasian in my classrooms was because parents made requests. If the white parents didn't request me, they were not going to put white children in my classroom," she said.

City School Superintdent Lee Hicks says the policy isn't about race, but about parental choice.

"Parents want to feel like their students are with some of their friends but again this is not just for one group or another group. This is open to all classrooms," said Hicks.

He says the school system welcomes all students.

"We have African American, Caucasian students together as well as Hispanic and you name it, and to me, that's what the world is about, is everybody working together," said Hicks.

Former Troy City School students are split.

"You'll open the door and you'll see a speckle of color, literally a speckle of color, you might see one here or one there, then you'll go over here, see maybe a speckle of white, so it's like literally separated," said Michael Jones, who graduated from Charles Henderson High School.

"Not in my experience. I mean, I played football with a lot of black people, baseball with some black people, different races, I didn't feel like there was a problem when I was there," said K.D. Edenfield, who graduated from Troy City Schools.

Dejerilyn King Henderson tells me her biggest goal was to get people talking about racial issues, and she says she think she's succeeded in doing that.

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