The Supreme Court and School Desegregation

The law says that public schools in the United States must be integrated, and the Supreme Court is trying to uphold that decision as well as they can. In 1954 in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education, in a Topeka elementary school, Linda Brown had been denied admission into a "white" public school because she was black. This case was concerned about whether the Fourteenth Amendment allows racial segregation in public schools. The Supreme Court decided to cancel all state constitutional provisions or laws that permitted the segregation of white and black children in public schools.

Brown v. Board of Education determined that racial segregation did violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This case has affected the state of race relations today. It has brought about fair treatment among blacks and whites in public schools. Students in public schools are no longer segregated. They are treated equally in all aspects of learning. In two 1979 cases, Columbus Board of Education v. Penick and Dayton Board of Education v. Brinkman, the segregation problem was still being grappled with. The final decision of these two cases required integration. This shows that the ideals of the Brown v. Board of Education are still being upheld.

The case Brown v. Board of Education started a trend toward much needed racial equality among blacks and whites, which gave rise of the mid-twentieth century Civil Rights movement. The decisions and laws that resulted from this movement have allowed our nation to make great advances legally in racial equality, but socially it is still questionable as to whether the majority of peoples' attitudes have changed since the Supreme Court arrived at the school integration decision.

Rhonda Laughman
Carly Wolfensberger

For more information on the Brown vs. Board case, visit Brown vs. Board of Education

This link contains data on the trends in desegregation of U.S, public schools between 1968-1986.

To see a picture of the crisis of Little Rock in 1957, visit this link.

Status of School Desegregation. Another informative web site.

To AP US History Page


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