On Wednesday, Federal Judge Harold Albritton ruled that Dothan City Schools had satisfied the conditions of a decree stemming from a lawsuit in the 70's over desegregation.
Superintendent Sam Nichols said at a press conference Thursday, "Prior to Lee vs. Macon, Dothan School System operated a dejour segregated school system which is constitutionally wrong."
So, what's next for the Dothan School Board now that they've achieved unitary status? What will be their first actions without having to go through the federal government?
"That will be our focus now, the five year strategic plan for excellence,” Nichols said. “Now we want to have our community forums, our round tables to present that plan to the community.”
Even representatives from the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit felt that the school board had done more than enough to meet the expectations set for them. That feeling is common among local community members
"A problem with minority hiring? What’s with the 10 black principles,” asked NAACP Member John Martin. "They could have gone themselves if there's a problem. That's why I agree with coming out from under it."
Now that school board members will be able to perform without federal supervision their main task will be to put this situation behind them.