District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins rules in favor of CCSD

Published 8:35 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

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On Tuesday, July 5, District Judge W. Keith Watkins ruled in favor of the Chambers County School Districts consolidation plan to close three schools and the creation of a STEAM magnet school.

In the motion for immediate relief, Watkins said CCSD shall establish a Desegregation Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC should consist of at least twelve total student and parent representatives from both Valley and LaFayette attendance zones, with regular access to CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley and the Board of Education to address remaining desegregation issues and progress of the changes to the district. The DAC will meet at least twice annually until this case against the CCSD is closed.

The motion orders Five Points School, J.P. Powell Middle School, and Lafayette-Lanier Elementary School may be closed immediately. Eastside Elementary School may be converted to a magnet school, and sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade children may be enrolled at the school immediately. Permission was granted to operate a STEAM program at the Eastside Elementary School campus.

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Chambley told VTN, this huge news comes at the hands of hard work and resiliency.

“I would first like to thank our team for their hard work and resiliency,” he said. “So many people have worked so hard to move our system forward.”

Chambley also said he had the utmost confidence that this would be the outcome and solidified that the district is doing the right thing.

“I knew we would win because what we are doing is right,” he said. “I just didn’t know when that victory would come. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for our office, teachers, and district staff over the past few months. I am happy that our teachers and other employees now have some peace of mind that we can move forward.”

Chambley went on to say that he appreciates the confidence the district’s parents have in him and the board of education.

“I appreciate the confidence our parents have entrusted in us to educate their children,” Chambley said. “Although we will not always agree on every issue we can agree that our kids are important and deserve the best. We will continue to work hard daily for the students of Chambers County. Thank you all for the support and prayers over the past few months. Now let’s get back to work.”

Read the full order below.