COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a case that has raised serious questions about the character of the U.S. justice system, a judge has ruled that a Columbia high school senior’s high school graduation was not racially biased.
The decision by U.C.-Lafayette’s U. S. District Court of Appeals on Tuesday overturns a lower court’s finding that Columbia high schools’ acceptance of black students was racially biased, and that a graduation ceremony for an African American student who wanted to become a police constable was racially insensitive.
The ruling, which was handed down by U-S.
District Judge Stephen V. O’Toole, was the result of a lawsuit filed by a former Columbia student, Michael Robinson, who was born in the South.
In April 2017, Robinson, 18, was accepted to Columbia’s Jefferson High School, but was expelled when the school rejected his application for admission.
The judge said in his ruling that the school’s rejection of Robinson’s application was based on “race and color” in the way it handled Robinson’s applications.
“The racial context of Columbia’s rejection is deeply troubling,” the judge wrote.
“The court finds that Columbia’s decision was racially motivated, and is therefore inconsistent with Title IX, and the U,S.
In May, Robinson’s attorney, David R. Fuchs, told the Associated Press that the decision “should make it abundantly clear that this case is not about the merits of the student’s claim that Columbia violated its own policies.”
“I’m happy to say that the courts have been on his side,” he said.
Robinson has been working on a lawsuit against the university since the fall of 2017.
His attorney, Michael A. Johnson, said the decision was important because of the impact it would have on other African American students who have been denied admission to schools of their choice because of race.
“We’re going to continue to fight and get the rights for all of our students that we fought for,” Johnson said.
Columbia University has not commented on the ruling.