During the summer, school children and their parents participated in orientation programs in order to procure proper reactions in any difficult situations which might be encountered in their newly assigned school.
Training programs were conducted by security personnel.
All necessary equipment to implement the program was transferred to new facilities, and all furniture, equipment, etc. was moved to accommodate the children transferred to new middle schools.
A number of employees were laid off.
The plaintiffs claim that unless the preliminary injunction is issued irreparable harm will result to the parents and children who are being bused.
The defendant denies this and claims that the School District cannot return to conditions as they existed as of the time they adopted the amended plan, because facilities have been so changed that the accommodation of the children could not be made anywhere near that which had existed prior to the existence of the amended plan. Furthermore, the expenditures which would be required in an effort to re-establish the plan would be extraordinary, and in any event if a preliminary injunction were to issue, it could not possibly conform by the stopping of the amended plan at this time, because the conditions as they exist after September 2nd are in effect irreversible.
As for the question of class action, it is unnecessary that I make any determination that this is or is not a class action. Actually, the principles of school desegregation, as the same have been so well defined by the Supreme Court and our other Federal courts are national and apply to every parent who has children or every guardian of children in the public schools of the United States. The principles as enunciated by the Supreme Court are not provincial. They do not apply to a corner of the State of Maine and lack application to another corner of the State of Arizona.
The defendant asserts that the plaintiffs are guilty of laches in this case, and therefor merit no consideration for their prayer of relief at this late date, because they knew as early as June 15th of the current year that the students who had formerly attended West Liberty School were assigned to the Frick School and Milliones Middle School and of the other details in connection with the desegregation plan.
It asserts that the plaintiffs could have anticipated an "existing actual threat" since April 18th, when the Board announced the implementation of the plan for September and that as of that time the plan became a certainty. It maintains that the application then for a preliminary injunction would have been a proper process for the purpose of "preserving the status quo". Hollander v. American Oil Co., 329 F. Supp. 1300 (W.D.Pa.1971); Skehan v. Board of Trustees of Bloomsburg State College, 353 F. Supp. 542 (M.D.Pa.1973).
It also argues in the brief that a complaint for declaratory relief would have been an appropriate anticipatory remedy for the plaintiffs, under the Federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201, 2202, which would not have prevented "availability of injunctive relief" as a bar once a declaratory judgment was obtained.
This court has evidence of the fact that the plaintiffs sought intervention in the Commonwealth Court action by the Human Relations Commission and this action by the plaintiffs was denied by the Commonwealth Court on July 3, 1980. Thus, it is obvious that after July 3rd, the plaintiffs were well aware of the fact that the plan had been adopted by the School Board, was being prepared and would be inaugurated as of September 2nd. Under these circumstances it would appear that the plaintiffs were guilty of laches by waiting until large expenditures of funds were made by the Board and after so many changes had been made so as to make it an impossibility of maintaining the status quo. However, even though presented as a basic defense, it is not the one to which I am mostly directed for a solution. The matter before me is a federal question relating to the Fourteenth Amendment primarily and the congressional statutes as they may or may not relate to the subject matter; and it is that which I address here.
THE APPLICABLE LAW
This court is bound by the principles of law laid down by the United States Supreme Court and as we apply those principles to the facts of the case. These principles have been well defined in Brown v. Board of Education, supra. This decision of the United States Supreme Court has been followed in Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717, 94 S. Ct. 3112, 41 L. Ed. 2d 1069 (1974); Swann v. Charlotte-Mechlenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1, 91 S. Ct. 1267, 28 L. Ed. 2d 554 (1971); McDaniel v. Barresi et al., 402 U.S. 39, 91 S. Ct. 1287, 28 L. Ed. 2d 582 (1971).
The principle concerning racial balancing authority by school boards which the Supreme Court has so specifically and lucidly set forth as an interpretation of the United States Constitution is cited in McDaniel, supra, at pages 41-42, 91 S. Ct. at page 1288:
"The Clark County Board of Education, as part of its affirmative duty to disestablish the dual school system, properly took into account the race of its elementary school children in drawing attendance lines. To have done otherwise would have severely hampered the board's ability to deal effectively with the task at hand. School boards that operated dual school systems are "clearly charged with the affirmative duty to take whatever steps might be necessary to convert to a unitary system in which racial discrimination would be eliminated root and branch.' Green v. County School Board, 391 U.S. 430, 437-438 (88 S. Ct. 1689, 1693-1694, 20 L. Ed. 2d 716) (1968). In this remedial process, steps will almost invariably require that students be assigned "differently because of their race.' See Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, (no. 281,) (402 U.S.) p. 1 (402 U.S. 1, 91 S. Ct. p. 1267, 28 L. Ed. 2d 554); Youngblood v. Board of Public Instruction, 430 F.2d 625, 630 (CA5 1970). Any other approach would freeze the status quo that is the very target of all desegregation processes.
Nor is the board's plan barred by Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The sections relied upon by respondents (42 U.S.C. §§ 2000c(b), 2000c-6) are directed only at federal officials and are designed simply to foreclose any interpretation of the Act as expanding the powers of federal officials to enforce the Equal Protection Clause. Swann, supra, (402 U.S.) at 17 (91 S. Ct., at 1276.) Title IV clearly does not restrict state school authorities in the exercise of their discretionary powers to assign students within their school systems."