Press Statement from Cissy Lacks

 

March 8, 1999:

 

Today, the Supreme Court announced they would not hear our appeal. My legal case is over.

I want to thank everyone, including past students, organizations, and attorneys in St. Louis and throughout the United States who for the last four years have devoted time and energy to my case.

In addition to my support from the National Education Association, fifteen national writing and education organizations signed a petition asking the Supreme Court to hear this case important to teachers throughout the United States. The Court's answer to us was no.

My concern and the concern of these organizations is the well being of education in the public schools. That well being is threatened when students, teachers and classrooms operate in fear and intimidation. Teachers, students and classrooms should not be the victims of cultural battles.

Although I wouldn't wish my legal battle of four years on anyone, I will say that I am proud of what individuals, organizations and I have done and what hopefully we will continue to do both within the legal system and the public arena. This legal loss is not a reason to stop fighting for what I and others know is important and believe in.

On a personal note, I am fine. I miss not being in the classroom, but I am moving on with my life, and it's a good life, relying on the talents, skills and attitudes that have served me well throughout my life.

While my story has received and continues to receive national attention, I know the people in St. Louis will support my efforts to move on with a productive life both personally and professionally.

Leading a productive life is what I wish for myself and what I would like to be the educational goal for every student in the United States. That goal can be reached when everyone in the educational community works together in mutual respect, but not when the atmosphere is one of mutual fear.

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