A hearing on a plan to integrate city schools next fall has been halted by a judge who says his "hair stood on end" when his research showed that similar plans in other cities had been ruled unconstitutional.
"I was not aware of these cases when we started, but after reading them, what little hair I have stood on end," Superior Court Judge Paul Egly said in recessing the hearing. He added that he was "a little embarrassed" not to have known about the cases sooner.
Egly said he had "very strong doubts" about the plan after reading of similar proposals in Boston, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Denver and Austin, Tex., that had been rejected by federal judges on the grounds they violated the 14th Amendment.
The school district, second in size only to New York's, was ordered by the state Supreme Court to produce a plan for "reasonable and feasible" in tegration. School officials have proposed a plan of limited busing to several "specialized learning centers" to teach various ethnic cultures.
Egly cited the Austin case, where a judge held that the interaction of races in learning centers similar to those proposed for Los Angeles was "an excellent idea for improving group relationships. But that does no: integrate the schools."