ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The St. Martin Parish School Board is trying to reopen Catahoula Elementary School, but many parents are concerned.

A U.S. district judge ordered the school to close last year due to a decades-old desegregation lawsuit against the school district, however just recently a federal court reversed the closure.

Although the school district is attempting to reopen the school, many parents are not happy.

The school board held a meeting with parents Thursday evening to discuss reopening the school.

The judge who closed Catahoula Elementary last year says the move was supposed to better integrate black and white students. Only 25% of their students were black.

The students were moved to two predominately black St. Martinville schools, Early Learning Center and St. Martinville Primary, in an attempt to create more diversity.

Now that the school district is trying to reopen Catahoula Elementary, many parents are worried about their children being sent to a school further away from home.

“I do not want anything to interrupt my grandkids schooling. I’m trying to look out for their benefits,” Dolores Bourda said.

Bourda, whose grandkids go to the ELC and SMP, the two predominately black schools, says she doesn’t want them to have to transfer.

“I think having them moved would be a disadvantage to them, and it would be an inconvenience for a lot of parents to have their kids travel this far, especially if something happened to the kids,” Bourda added.

Another grandmother says her grandchild also attends SMP. If Catahoula Elementary reopens, her granddaughter could be moved to that school.

“I hope there’s some kind of resolution where she doesn’t have to go because she’s only 4 years old. This is her first experience going to school. That kind of worries me because that’s like 13 miles from where I live, as opposed to 1.2 miles now,” Elleanor Batiste told News Ten.

A district judge says St. Martinville schools need to even out the racial divide, as part of the desegregation case from 1965 that started the discussion to close Catahoula Elementary.

Many parents say as the case was started decades ago, desegregation is not needed today.

“We all know the history of racism and segregation. Is it a reality today? I am a black woman, and I have never been in St. Martinville my entire life. I have never been the product of racism. I have never been the product of segregation,” one woman said in the meeting.

At the meeting with the school board, every parent with children at ELC and SMP agree, they fear reopening Catahoula Elementary School will mean their kids will have to move.

“I’m just praying that all goes well, and our kids are able to stay in their current schools,” Batiste added.

The school board says Catahoula Elementary will definitely be reopening. The question is how and when. One suggestion the school board made was creating a magnet school in St. Martinville to attract more white students.