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Virginia Court Is Ordered To Reconsider Injunction In Sweet Briar College Case

Giving at least a temporary victory to opponents of the plan to close Sweet Briar College, the Virginia Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to review its rejection of a request for a temporary injunction that would freeze the process of closing the school.

"While Virginia Supreme Court had the authority to act on a party's motion for a temporary injunction initially filed with the lower court," The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "the justices decided it is the lower court that is in the best position to decide if an injunction is warranted."

The legal battle over Sweet Briar's fate has been fast-moving — the private women's school is slated to close on Aug. 25. has raised millions of dollars to fund its fight against the move.

Sweet Briar first opened its doors more than 100 years ago. But enrollment has been declining, administrators say. The plan to close the school was announced in March.

NPR's education blog reported on the planned closure in May, saying, "While many Sweet Briar students — nearly 145 — will graduate this month, close to 400 of them will be going to school somewhere else next fall."

Some of the recent legal arguments centered on whether the school should more properly be considered a trust or a corporation — and which brand of law should be applied to a legal review of the case.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.