The scene was very emotional Friday afternoon when parents of Mumford transfers learned that a stay had been issued in the case. While the original ruling still stands, it does buy Mumford some time and it also gives a little joy to a group of parents who haven't had much to smile about recently.
It was a joyous moment as parents and students learned the news that white Hearne transfer students can continue their schooling in Mumford beginning Monday.
" It's like one big happy family here. Just like the parents have been saying. Everyone works together here. Everyone is concerned. We have a wonderful teaching staff. We have a wonderful school board," said Mumford superintendent, Pete Bienski.
Bienski says he is grateful for all the support parents, students, and the surrounding communities have given the district as it has fought to keep all the students who want to be in Mumford there.
" Now are kids can go back to school. They can go back with their friends. They can go back with the ones they consider family and go on with their lives. I just can't explain it to you," said parent Tim Johnson.
Hearne superintendent David Deaver released this statement:
" Hearne ISD stands ready to accept any and all students who wish to return to their home school. Apparently the Fifth Circuit ruling to stay only applies to Mumford's acceptance of Hearne students but not to TEA being enjoined from paying for these students."
While parents and students were overcome with emotion, they still realize a bigger battle lies ahead as attorneys prepare for an appeal on Judge William Justice's initial ruling against Mumford.
But for now Mumford school officials, parents and students are relishing in the victory and are optimistic that things will work in their favor in the future.
" We are very confident and we're going to hope and pray that we're going to be successful," said Bienski.
The court order states that white transfer students from Hearne can remain in Mumford throughout the entire school year pending the appeal.
Both parties will be back in court on October 3.