SUBSCRIBE NOW

Evans vs. Buchanan: A struggle over education, race, power

Antonio Prado and Andréa Miller
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Wilmington High School graduate Donald P. Patton said it was a racist assumption to believe that the Wilmington School District could not survive or thrive if given the chance.

“I don't get this notion that black students can't learn at all black schools. That is old, limited thinking,” Patton said. “Any time you can keep students in their own neighborhood they are better off, and that includes city students. I know teachers are committed to work with students in after school activities, but kids can't stay. They ride buses home and their parents aren't around to chauffeur them.”

But Howell said it was not about eliminating a predominantly black system.

“You don't just go to school with white kids to learn better. If you are a black school district in a black, bourgeois town where you can get the resources you need for quality of education, you won't aspire to change the school district at all,” he said. “I said that in court.”