Contact: Nsombi Lambright, 601-573-3978,

The ACLU has announced that it is instigating an investigation into the Nettleton Mississippi Middle School’s policy of systemically excluding black youth from running for class president.

“The ACLU of MS is outraged by these remnants of Jim Crow policies that continue to exist in our public schools. We are reaching out to constituents in the Lee County area to gather more information in order to determine a course of action. Any policy which prohibits black youth from running for class president is discriminatory and illegal,” said Nsombi Lambright, executive Director of the ACLU of Mississippi . “This is a wake-up call for parents, community leaders and school administrators that racial bias continues to flourish in our schools. “

“The school’s response that they are reviewing their polices is too little too late,” said Bear Atwood, Interim Legal Director at the ACLU of Mississippi. “School administrators and School Board members have an affirmative obligation to review school polices and remove any policy that is discriminatory or otherwise illegal. They cannot permit blatant discrimination to continue while they wait for a complaint.”

The ACLU of Mississippi is calling on the Superintendent and the School Board to act immediately to remove any and all policies which segregate youth, or discriminate against youth in any way. “By letter dated today we have demanded that the school act swiftly to send a strong message to the community’s youth and their parents that discrimination will no longer be accepted in Nettleton Mississippi,” Lambright said.