Brevard County school closure lawsuit filed

Local pastors, parents allege discrimination in decision to close 3 schools

VIERA, Fla. - A lawsuit seeking to keep three Brevard public schools from closing was filed on Monday by a group of local pastors, parents and civic leaders.

The lawsuit is a response to Brevard School Board members voting on Feb. 12 to close Gardendale Elementary on Merritt Island, South Lake Elementary in Titusville and Clearlake Middle in Cocoa.

The only school that was targeted for closure but was allowed to stay open, Sea Park Elementary in Satellite Beach, serves a mostly white student population.

The lawsuit alleges discrimination, saying that the closings disproportionally affect African American students. All three schools serve a high percentage of minority students.

Attorney Shayan Elahi said the school board and superintendent have been "reckless with the future of our children," and says many of the same families who will be affected by the closure a year ago of Riverview Elementary.

A school district spokesman said, "we have not received any information on this injunction. Until we know the facts about the lawsuit, we are unable to make a cohesive statement."

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