Judge denies injunction aimed to keep Brevard schools open

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

On Friday afternoon, a Brevard County judge denied a temporary injunction aimed at keeping three public schools from closing.

In November, the school system superintendent recommended closing four schools to save money.

In February, the school board decided to shut down Clearlake Middle School and Gardendale and South Lake elementary schools after the 2012-2013 school year.

Clearlake Middle and South Lake Elementary have already closed.

A group of parents are suing Brevard Public Schools.

Parents argue the closures hit economically disadvantaged communities, unfairly affecting minority students. The plaintiffs wanted a temporary injunction. Two of the three plaintiffs weren't in court Wednesday, but the hearing moved forward without them.

"I don't find anything to indicate a malicious or discriminatory intent on the behalf of the school board," said Judge George Maxwell.

Superintendent Brian Binggeli with Brevard Public Schools said the closures weren't aimed at minority communities and said they were "pleased with the judge's ruling."

"And from here on, we need to focus on trying to help all of our schools and all of our students be successful in the coming school year," Binggeli said.

The ruling may be in, but the case isn't over, according to civil rights attorney Shayan Elahi.

He said he and his clients are going to weigh their options.

"If he decides there was something amiss in the final judgment to order the school to reverse its action, that's the beauty of our judicial system," Elahi said.

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