490 F.2d 458 (5th Cir. 1974), 73-3088, Lee v. Macon County Bd. of Ed.

Docket Nº:73-3088 [*]
Citation:490 F.2d 458
Party Name:Anthony T. LEE et al., Plaintiffs, Mrs. James O'Neal et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor and Amicus Curiae, National Education Association, Inc., Plaintiff-Intervenor, v. MACON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION et al., Defendants, (Randolph County Board of Education) et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:March 06, 1974
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 458

490 F.2d 458 (5th Cir. 1974)

Anthony T. LEE et al., Plaintiffs, Mrs. James O'Neal et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, United States of America, Plaintiff-Intervenor and Amicus Curiae, National Education Association, Inc., Plaintiff-Intervenor,

v.

MACON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION et al., Defendants, (Randolph County Board of Education) et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 73-3088 [*]

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.

March 6, 1974

Demetrius C. Newton, Birmingham, Ala., Jack Greenberg, Norman Chachkin, Charles E. Williams, III, New York City, for plaintiffs.

John S. Casey, Heflin, Ala., for defendants.

Ira DeMent, U.S. Atty., Montgomery, Ala., J. Stanley Pottinger, Asst. Atty. Gen., Civ. Rights Div., U.S.D. of Washington, D.C., Solomon S. Seay, Jr., Montgomery, Ala., for other interested parties.

Before BELL, GODBOLD and GEE, Circuit Judges.

GODBOLD, Circuit Judge:

Appellant, Inez Knight, brought this suit on behalf of her daughters, Lillie Mae, 17, and Rose Ella, 14. The two children were pupils in Randolph County High School, located in a largely rural Alabama county. The high school principal, Hulond Humphries, sent the children home from school February 2,

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1973. He did not tell them when they would be allowed to return. The same date he wrote two letters to the Randolph County Board of Education listing his various disciplinary contacts with each child and requesting that each be 'dismissed' from school. Appellant and her children were not sent copies of the letters or otherwise informed of their existence or content.

February 7 appellant filed a motion for emergency relief in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She sought the childrens' reinstatement in school, in essence claiming that they had been excluded without due process. Action on the motion was deferred on agreement pending an administrative hearing before the Board of Education. Lillie Mae and Rose Ella remained out of school in the interim.

At the hearing before the Board on March 8, 1973, Principal Humphries testified to having disciplined the children for several infractions. Both girls had fought with other children in the school halls. On one occasion Rose Ella struck Coach Johnson, the football coach, as he was attempting to break up a fight between her and another student. Both girls used abusive language on several occasions when their teachers reprimanded them. Lillie Mae was absent from school without permission for at least one day. She also counseled her younger sister to flout a teacher's orders...

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