LAWSUIT: Redistricting ‘packed’ minorities into three Cobb Co. school districts

Cobb County schools accused of racist redistricting
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A new lawsuit accuses the Cobb County School Board and Board of Elections of unlawfully ‘packing’ Black families into three school districts to “whitewash” representation. The controversy comes after this year’s redistricting of maps.

The litigation was filed by Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU on Thursday, on behalf of frustrated parents and students who say the school system will be racially divided under the new maps.

“Overall, it wasn’t the best,” Hylah Daly recalled of her high school experience.

Daly just graduated from Pebblebrook High School on May 28. She told CBS46 she loved the staff and classmates at her Cobb County school but she feels minority voices were under-represented across the county.

Daly is among several plaintiffs now suing the school district and Cobb Board of Elections, alleging county maps were re-drawn so that the majority of Black students fall into three districts out of the seven - districts 2, 3, and 6.

“It’s really important to have a school board that represents me, that looks like me, that really understands what I go through.” Daly adds, " and knows what it’s like to face discrimination and because of that, take it seriously.”

Rahul Garabadu, an ACLU attorney, argues by packing minorities, there is no equitable influence across the district.

“The voters of color in these school districts don’t have much of a say as other voters and we’re making sure those voters of color can have their policy preferences seen, make sure that they have policies they want for their children,” he said.

Despite activists claiming the re-districting has solidified Republican control of Cobb County, supporters of the map maintain it was done fairly and lawfully.

CBS46 reached out to the Cobb County Schools spokesperson but we have not heard back.

However, the allegations are not unique to Cobb, and it’s far from new. The controversy grew heated over various districts throughout the state’s legislative session this year.

“The legislators who enacted this map didn’t listen to voices and voters of color,” claimed Garabadu.

Daly echoed, “I want to be able to hopefully make a difference and to work for a diverse school board that also represents a diverse county like the one we’re in.”