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HOOTS v. PENNSYLVANIA

May 15, 1973

Dorothy HOOTS, Individually and as mother of her children Janelle Hoots and Jamie Hoots, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA et al., Defendants


Weber, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

INTRODUCTION

 This is a suit under the federal Civil Rights Act in which plaintiffs, as representatives of a class, allege that residents of the Borough of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, have been deprived of rights, privileges and immunities guaranteed them by the laws and Constitution of the United States by being forced to attend and send their children to a racially segregated school district created by the actions of the various defendants in preparing, approving and adopting plans of reorganization and consolidation of school districts in Allegheny County, particularly that creating the General Braddock Area School District, known as Administrative Unit No. 16, within whose boundaries these plaintiffs reside, and the approval of reorganization of surrounding school districts made at about the same time.

 A great many of the factual issues in this case were resolved by agreement and stipulation. The statistical data submitted into evidence of the trial was received largely without objection. The defendants submitted two documents as exhibits but offered no testimony. As a result we find the facts to be almost entirely in accord with those findings proposed by plaintiffs' counsel after the close of the evidence. The findings are sufficiently detailed so as to allow us to proceed without a further narrative account of the background of this litigation.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 A. Parties

 1. Plaintiffs include Addrallace Knight and Barbara Smith.

 2. Plaintiff Addrallace Knight is a black woman who has resided in the Borough of Braddock, Pennsylvania, for 20 years and is the mother of three children presently enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock Area School District in grades 2, 4 and 12, of three children formerly enrolled and still eligible to be enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock School District, and of two children in college who graduated from the School Districts of Braddock and the General Braddock Area, respectively. *fn1" T. 2, T. 30.

 3. Plaintiff Barbara Smith is a black woman who has resided in the Borough of Braddock for 28 years and is the mother of children enrolled in the public schools of the General Braddock Area School District in grades 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11. T. 63, 64.

 4. Plaintiffs Addrallace Knight and Barbara Smith instituted this suit to alter the boundaries of the General Braddock Area School District. T. 30, 63.

 5. Named Plaintiffs bring the suit as a class action on behalf of all parents and children residing in the boroughs of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin. Named Plaintiffs' claims are typical of the claims of the class and named Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. T. 40, 46, 100, 101.

 6. Defendant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the duty under Article III, Section 14 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, P.S., to maintain and support a thorough and efficient public school system. (Paragraph 35 of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)

 7. Defendant Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has the ultimate power, authority and responsibility to create school districts and to establish and alter boundaries of the areas served by said school districts. (Paragraph 36 of Plaintiffs' Complaint, Admitted.)

 8. Defendant Pennsylvania State Board of Education ["State Board"] is a state administrative board charged with the general supervision and control of the educational interests of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Defendant W. Deming Lewis is the Chairman of ...


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