Federal appeals court cancels hearing on Covington Co. school dispute

COLLINS, Miss. (AP) - A federal appeals court cancels a hearing in the Covington County school case. The hearing was scheduled for today (Thursday).

The case involves a dispute over whether a group of Covington County school parents can contest the local district's efforts to be released from a 40-year-old desegregation order.

Jackson attorney Suzanne Keys, who is representing the parents, says the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will instead make a ruling based on the briefs filed by attorneys for both sides.

The U.S. Department of Justice ordered the Covington County schools to integrate in 1966; the case was reopened in 2001 at the behest of the local NAACP chapter.

An out-of-court settlement was reached, which has raised numerous concerns.

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