To the Editor:
As one of plaintiffs’ lawyers in the ongoing Metro Nashville school re-segregation case, I have argued that the current student assignment plan unlawfully segregates white and black students, primarily between the Hillwood and Pearl-Cohn sub-districts. (The Federal Court here recently ruled against us, but we are planning to file an appeal.)
Nonetheless, I commend the Metro school board for the principled stand it has taken in rejecting the application filed by Great Hearts Academies to open a charter school in West Nashville with little or no provision for transportation so that children from other areas might attend. The proposed charter seems to be intended as a publicly funded private school for the enjoyment of the well-off, mostly white families in the Hillwood/West Nashville area. Nonetheless, the State Board of Education has ordered the Metro board to approve the Great Hearts application.
It was extremely disappointing that when the Metro board delayed action in order to ensure that certain conditions were met, it was immediately assailed by the mayor, the state board, the state education commissioner and The Tennessean, and threatened with sanctions for simply trying to carry out its responsibilities. This concerted defense of white privilege completely disregarded the benefits of integration and diversity even as the Metro board sought to move in a more just and enlightened direction.
Michael S. Lottman
Kingston Springs 37082
'The City Paper' occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor online.