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Federal judge denies attempt to intervene in Clay High School's closure

An attempt to prevent the impending closure of Clay High School on the grounds it would violate decades old racial balance requirements has failed.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon denied a motion that would have allowed the Save Clay Inc. group to intervene in a consent decree that governs the South Bend school district.

The group moving to intervene included two South Bend school corporation board members and argued the closure of Clay could violate racial makeup requirements for the remaining schools in the district. Since the 1980s, South Bend has been under a consent decree with the federal government which mandates that the racial makeup of each school in the district must mirror the overall racial makeup of the district.

But Simon found that the group’s attempt to intervene is moot since the U.S. Department of Justice already monitors the district and whether it is complying with a consent decree from the 1980s.

In his ruling Simon wrote “it may be that petitioners do not like the potential closure of Clay High School for perfectly sensible reasons; but it does not follow that their interests are inadequately represented by the government in this case.”

Simon did set a deadline of December 20 for the South Bend school district to submit a full plan laying out where students at Clay will go.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.