Parental Handbook
for Local Control of Education  /  Challenge Three
Groundswell Intervenors Support
Challenge to Busing Order,
in Freeman v. Pitts, a Class Action,
to Restore Local Control of Student Assignment

Appeal to Supreme Court by the DeKalb County School System Illustrates Extraordinary Difficulty in Restoring Local Control

The record in the Freeman case reflects the difficulty of the DCSS in establishing “a finding that no portion of the current racial imbalance (was) a remnant of prior de jure discrimination” before restoration of complete local control.

The DeKalb County School System (DCSS) in Georgia had been operating under the direction of the district court since June 12, 1969 in a school desegregation case brought earlier by a black plaintiff class. At that time the trial court, among other things, enjoined the defendant DCSS from discriminating on the basis of race, and ordered the DCSS to close all remaining de jure black schools and to establish a neighborhood school attendance policy. Pitts by Pitts v. Freeman (11th Cir. 1989), 887 F.2d 1438,1443.

DCSS then “closed all de jure black schools,” and, it appears from the litigation history related in the panel decision, established a neighborhood school attendance policy, and a “M to M program.” The latter program permitted students to transfer from schools in which their race is a majority to schools in which their race is a minority, which was modified in 1976 to provide those students with free transportation. Id. at 1443.

The history relates a series of requests by the parties and orders leading to the reversal in 1985 in Pitts I (775 F.2d 1423) by the 11th Circuit of a district court conclusion that DCSS had achieved unitary status. Id. at 1443. More litigation followed leading to a June 30, 1988, district court decision, from which both parties appealed. Id. at 1444.

The plaintiffs contended to the appellate court panel, among other things, that the “district court erroneously dismissed the DCSS from court supervision in the area of student assignment.” Oppositely, the DCSS contended, among other things, that it “satisfied its duties relating to student assignment when it complied with the district court's 1969 order and closed all de jure black schools.” The DCSS took “the position that it did not ‘cause' resegregation and that it possesse(d) no duty to take affirmative action to desegregate.” Id. at 1444.

The record reflected that demographic changes had affected the DCSS since 1969 and had resulted in racial imbalance in which the percentage of blacks in the district increased dramatically since then until the time of theNext

Pitts I 

Pitts v. Freeman (11th Cir. 1985), 775 F.2d 1423
DeKalb County School System (DCSS),
DeKalb County, Georgia

Pitts II 

Pitts by Pitts v. Freeman (11th Cir. 1989), 887 F.2d 1438,1443
DeKalb County School System (DCSS),
DeKalb County, Georgia


Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U.S. 467, 112 S.Ct. 1430 (1992)
DeKalb County School System (DCSS),
DeKalb County, Georgia
Enstrom: filed amici curiae brief


Handbook: Challenge Three, pages 45 - 54 —


Parental Handbook
For Parents Dedicated to Local Control
of Public Education of Children
According to the Constitution
by Elmer Enstrom, Jr.
Challenges of the 30-year Carlin affirmative action lawsuit:
an exemplar of citizens reasserting Constitutional rights.
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