Pacific Legal Foundation has taken up his case. Both sides are now
engaged in pretrial motions.
Crawford said the district continues to deny students the school of their
choice through its policy of avoiding "racial isolation."
The policy denies white students the ability to transfer out of high
schools where the white student population is more than 15% below the
districtwide white student percentage. Likewise, in such cases, nonwhite
students are not allowed to transfer in, he said.
White students now make up about half of the district's student
Crawford said such a policy is a violation of Proposition 209, which
states the government "shall not discriminate against ... any individual
or group on the basis of race, sex, color or ethnicity."
Meanwhile, district officials said the policy is simply complying with
state antisegregation legislation and, therefore, has called in the state
Board of Education as a co-defendant.
Court commissioner Sheila Fell is expected to decide soon on the
district's motion to include the Board of Education in the trial.
"The district has a policy designed to comply with the state
Constitution," said Dave Larson, an attorney for the district. "The
plaintiffs are challenging the constitutionalityof state law."
But Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Zack Morazzini said the district's
and state's definitions of segregation are like apples and oranges.
"None of the district's schools have been found to be segregated
according to the Constitution," Morazzini said. "The California Supreme
Court has rejected their [the district's] definition of segregation."
Morazzini said there is a list of characteristics that make a school
legally segregated, but none of the district's schools fall into this
Crawford stressed the ethical basis of his case and said he is seeking a
change in district policy, not money.
"It's not fair," he said. "Students should be allowed to go to the school
The district's enrollment policy came under fire last year when it denied
52 white Ocean View High School students the right to transfer to the
school of their choice, saying it would upset Ocean View's ethnic
The district's previous policy said a school's ethnic makeup should match
that of the district.
In May, after parent protest, the district amended its policy, giving the
schools the leeway to stay within 15% of the districtwide white student
The ruling allowed the students to transfer but left some parents and
board member Matthew Harper unsatisfied.
Harper has advocated abolishing the district's racial quotas altogether.
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