11th Circuit Court of Appeals rules Gardendale cannot form own school system

Gardendale High School

A federal appeals court says a mostly white Alabama city can't break away from a heavily black county school system to form its own educational district.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to let the Birmingham suburb of Gardendale secede from the Jefferson County school system. The city is more than 80 percent white, while the court decision says the county system is heavily black.

A district judge ruled last year that Gardendale was discriminatory when it tried to form its own school system. But that judge decided to let a split go ahead anyway.

The appeals court agreed that a split is discriminatory, and it says the city can't break away.

The decision revolves around a desegregation order from 1971.

Read the entire ruling below:

This is a developing story and ABC 33/40 News will update as more information is made available.

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