After a long public battle with political officials, the DeKalb County School Board has withdrawn its name from a lawsuit that challenged the governor’s authority to remove and replace school board members.
Earlier this week, a federal judge asked the Georgia Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the law that allowed Gov. Nathan Deal to suspend six DeKalb County Board Members.
Deal replaced six of the nine board members on Wednesday. Shortly after his decision, U. S. District Attorney Richard Story issued an order to review the decision. Story questions whether the state law violates the constitutional principle that elected boards should control school systems. He also questions whether Deal’s ability to remove members, demonstrates an extension of unconstitutional powers to the governor.
“It has certainly been an interesting and tumultuous past couple of months in DeKalb County,” Marshall Orson, one of the new DeKalb board members said at a meeting.
Prior to removal, the old board filed lawsuit against the state, challenging Deal’s authority. Officials claim that dropping the lawsuit sends a positive message to parents and teachers.
“[This is] extremely important. I think that’s what many parents were waiting for, so that’s a huge victory for our children,” parent Jennifer Hatfield said.
Officials predict that the lawsuit will likely continue, despite the board’s withdrawal. Former board chairman Eugene Walker is listed as a plaintiff in the case.
“Oh yes, I am going to continue,” Walker told WSBTV. “It’s a constitutional issue. I am going to pay out of my own pocket.”