Lawyers for board members of a beleaguered metro Atlanta school system appeared in court on Friday to argue why they should not be removed from their positions.
Judge Richard Story is considering legal challenges to the state law that allowed Gov. Nathan Deal to announce suspensions of several board members.
The governor wants to suspend six of nine DeKalb County School Board members at the recommendation of the state board of education. A federal judge issued an order temporarily preventing him from replacing the board members until Friday's hearing.
A source told FOX 5 that former DeKalb County School Board Chairman Eugene Walker -- one of those recommended to be removed from the board -- was the only member who refused to resign and prevent the hearing.
Judge Story opened the hearing by telling the packed courtroom that he understands the seriousness of the issue. He went on to say that he is aware that his decision will affect thousands of students in DeKalb County. The judge says he is a parent and he knows what it is like to care about your children.
The board's attorney, Bob Wilson, is arguing the law circumvents voters and is therefore unconstitutional. Wilson said that the electoral process is important and removal without specific due process would be unjust.
The attorney for the governor and the State Board of Education said that this is not a measure that was done to be punitive to board members but said that it is for the good of the community, the stakeholders and the children of DeKalb.
The hearing continued late into Friday afternoon.
Walker said that he believes the law is unconstitutional, but he will abide by the judge's ruling.
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