Friday, May 21, 2010

2003 Castorina Report

The Castorina v. Madison School Board case was settled in our favor over a year ago now, and we have had dealings with more than two dozen school systems in its wake. Some school systems have—after initial resistance—realized that the 6th Circuit case law is unavoidable and have complied with this basic constitutional tenet: students do not shed their rights at the schoolhouse doors, and singling out Southern students for different treatment is unconstitutional. So far 9 school systems have done complete turnarounds in Kentucky on their bans of Confederate symbols. Others are still pondering their responsibilities in the matter, and a few have chosen to challenge the 6th Circuit ruling. One school system in particular—at this point to remain nameless, but not for long– has chosen to belligerently challenge Castorina and are likely to be the next school system to find themselves in court. The Kentucky division has already spent money on legal retainer for the case. Many school systems will be watching—did we just “get lucky” in Madison County, or have we truly created a powerful legal tool? As always, money will be our greatest need if and when “Castorina II” becomes a reality.

The news is mostly positive, though, as we are seeing the “ripple effects” of CastorinaCastorina to change a school system’s improper behavior. continue. In some cases we’ve simply given instructional and legal material to parents and they have been able to take the situation successfully from that point. We are also heartened to hear reports from elswhere - Ohio, Tennessee and even Illinois and other states not in the 6th Circuit where camps and parents have been able to use

We have 3 tools available for these school situations:

¨ “Castorina Kit” - this is the 6th Circuit decision, legal filings and letters which—if given to a school system and their attorney—show them just what Castorina is and what it means for them. Very powerful.

¨ “Approaching School Systems About Respecting the Rights of Southern Students” - a “how-to” guide available only to SCV camps dealing with these situations. It gives much of the story behind Castorina and what works best in dealing with school systems based on our experiences.

¨ 2003 Kentucky Heritage Report Video—this is about 12 minutes of TV news reports, mostly on Castorina and the Jefferson Davis statue (it is the video that was shown at the division reunion in Georgetown). It is on a CD which plays on your computer using Windows Media player. Educational and entertaining (it is especially fun to watch one school superintendent whine on camera about the courts “forcing” her to comply)

To request these materials, send $2 for postage to: Don Shelton, 110 Apple Grove, Nicholasville, KY 40356

Originally Published in the Spring 2004 The Lost Cause

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