Case: Prigden & North Carolina Teachers Association v. Weldon City Board of Education

8:67-cv-01019 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Filed Date: March 7, 1967

Closed Date: 1970

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 7, 1967, the plaintiff brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The plaintiff, an African-American teacher, sued defendant Weldon City Board of Education, alleging that she had been fired on the basis of race and that the Board's process for hiring, firing and assigning teachers was racially discriminatory. The North Carolina Teachers Association intervened as a plaintiff in the suit. On June 14, 1967, the district court (Judge John La…

On March 7, 1967, the plaintiff brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The plaintiff, an African-American teacher, sued defendant Weldon City Board of Education, alleging that she had been fired on the basis of race and that the Board's process for hiring, firing and assigning teachers was racially discriminatory. The North Carolina Teachers Association intervened as a plaintiff in the suit.

On June 14, 1967, the district court (Judge John Larkins) concluded that the plaintiff's individual claim of racial discrimination had no merit but that her class action claim about the Board's process for teacher assignment did. On August 15, 1967, Judge Larkins entered a consent order granting injunctive relief against the Board's racially discriminatory practice of hiring, firing and assigning teachers. Under the order, the Board agreed to take steps to integrate faculty and to file an annual report to the court on its progress. Such reports were filed for four years, 1967 through 1970.

Meanwhile, the Board submitted a desegregation plan to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in September 1968 pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plan, which HEW approved, laid out how the Board would undertake desegregation efforts starting in the 1969-70 school year. It combined the district's two high schools but continued freedom-of-choice in the elementary schools. For 1970-71, the Board proposed dividing the district into attendance zones with combined schools. The Board also stated that it would reassign teachers on a non-racial basis.

In 1970, HEW informed the Board that it was operating a unitary school district and thus was preliminarily in compliance with the requirements of the Civil Rights Act.

The docket in this case ends in 1970.

Post-script

There was apparently never a private student plaintiff lawsuit against the Weldon City Board of Education. This litigation concerned teacher integration; on the student front, the Board worked with HEW to achieve unitary status without a lawsuit, through the implementation of HEW-approved plans. Nonetheless, the reality on the ground remained stark for students -- so much so that around 2010, the North Carolina Center for Civil Rights issued a report concluding that the existence of three separate districts in the area (Weldon City, Halifax County and Roanoke Rapids) amounted to an equal protection violation. In 2015, a group of parents, the NAACP and a non-profit sued the Halifax County Commissioners in state court to force consolidation of the three districts, in Silver v. Halifax County Bd. of Commissioners; more details

Summary Authors

Greg Margolis (2/28/2017)

People


Judge(s)

Larkins, John Davis Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chambers, Julius Levonne (North Carolina)

Greenberg, Jack (North Carolina)

Harper, Conrad K. (New York)

James, John (North Carolina)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Pearson, Conrad O. (North Carolina)

Walker, James R. Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Allsbrook, Julian R. (North Carolina)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Dodds, Dewey K. (Virginia)

Judge(s)

Larkins, John Davis Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chambers, Julius Levonne (North Carolina)

Greenberg, Jack (North Carolina)

Harper, Conrad K. (New York)

James, John (North Carolina)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Pearson, Conrad O. (North Carolina)

Walker, James R. Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Allsbrook, Julian R. (North Carolina)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Dodds, Dewey K. (Virginia)

Fisher, M. L. (North Carolina)

Hammack, P. Paul (North Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

8:67-cv-01019

Docket

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

Dec. 1, 1970

Dec. 1, 1970

Docket

8:67-cv-01019

Complaint

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

March 7, 1967

March 7, 1967

Complaint

8:67-cv-01019

Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment]

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

June 13, 1967

June 13, 1967

Order/Opinion

8:67-cv-01019

Order [Granting Injunctive Relief]

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

Aug. 14, 1967

Aug. 14, 1967

Order/Opinion

[Review of Desegregation Plan]

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

No Court

March 27, 1969

March 27, 1969

Findings Letter/Report

8:67-cv-01019

[Re: Information from Weldon Board of Education]

Prigden v. Weldon City Board of Education

Nov. 24, 1979

Nov. 24, 1979

Correspondence

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:20 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 7, 1967

Closing Date: 1970

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

African-American teacher suing for herself on one claim and on behalf of all others similarly situated on another claim

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Weldon City, School District

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1967 - 1970

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Preliminary relief denied

Reporting

Student assignment

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Education

Racial segregation

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run