In defiance of a court order, white transfer student from Hearne were allowed to start school in Mumford Wednesday. But their first day of class may also be their last day of class in Mumford. A judge is sticking by his decision to send white Hearne transfers back to Hearne and that has some parents fuming.
" There's something good going on in Mumford so that's why we decided to put our kids here in school," said concerned parent, Henry Garcia.
All three of Garcia's children should attend school in Hearne ISD, but they don't. That's because Garcia pulled his children out of Hearne in favor of Mumford schools. Garcia says he thinks his children can get a better education in Mumford.
Garcia's children will be able to remain in Mumford, but a federal judge says white transfer students from Hearne will have to go. The judge says allowing them to attend school in Mumford violates a state desegregation law.
No students were turned away from the first day of school at Mumford on Wednesday, but the judge has denied the district's request for a stay, so some 60 white students from Hearne will not be allowed at Mumford schools on Thursday.
And that has some parents frustrated. They say the issue shouldn't be about race, but rather a parent's rights to choose where they want their child to go to school.
" If this is the school for your child that can teach them well, educate them, then go there. It should be about the education, not about school funding," said Garcia.
Parents also cite Hearne's low academic performance ratings from
T.E.A. over the past few years as reason enough to take their children out of Hearne's school system.
Mumford I.S.D. superintendent, Pete Bienski, points out that the majority of Hearne transfer students over the past 3 years have been minority students, Hispanics being the highest number of transfers. Bienski says he will obey the judge's orders and release white Hearne transfer students, but still hopes things will work out for Mumford in the end.
Eastern District Judge William Justice did deny Mumford's request for an emergency stay, and Mumford's attorney's plans to appeal the ruling. But for now, Mumford's school district is contacting parents who will be effected by the ruling and telling them not to bring their kids to school tomorrow.
Hearne's superintendent says the district is ready for the return of the disputed students when classes start next Wednesday.