PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - In 2013 Lee Hicks, Phenix City's newest superintendent candidate, was listed on a lawsuit along with several other Troy City Board of Education members, claiming that they were trying to segregate classrooms in grades K through 6.
John Johnson and two other parents filed the suit in August of 2013 -- alleging that the Troy City School System was systematically denying African American children the right to an equal educational opportunity. The suit states that Troy City Schools implemented a "parent's choice" policy -- which sent a request form home for parents to choose what teacher they want their child to be assigned to as well as a list of students they would like their child to be in class with.
According to court documents, from 2008 to 2012-13 Academic years, the number of all African American classes taught by African American teachers has increased from one to nine.
The suit claims that of the more than 2,000 students in the Troy City School System -- approximately 62 percent of them are black. This led parents to see the parent choice policy as a pretext to racially segregate classrooms and they sought to have the effort prohibited by the court of law as a Civil Rights violation.
Now in December 2013 this case was dismissed by the Middle District Court of Alabama, enjoining the Troy City Board of Education from notifying parents that they had preferential treatment for their students in grades K through 6.
Additionally, the plaintiffs in that case were awarded $10,500 to be paid by the Troy City Board of Education.