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This Mississippi District Is Still Segregated In Spite Of 51 Years Of Litigation To Desegregate

By Victor Trammell

Over a half century ago in America, the U.S. Supreme court ruled after the historic Brown vs. Board of Education case that all of the nation’s school districts were required to desegregate based on race with “deliberate speed.”

The High Court’s order implemented equality and paved the way for integrating school districts across the country. However, in the Deep South state of Mississippi, there has been a serious effort to resist the High Court’s desegregation order 51 years later.

The city of Cleveland, Mississippi still has a public school system, which is very much segregated. The deep-seated racism that existed in the city during the era of the Civil Rights Movement is still alive and well today. East Side High, one of Cleveland’s high schools in the city’s school district is almost totally white.

Also, Cleveland’s public school district is 67 percent black and only 29 percent white. The remaining one percent of students of the district are classified as Asian or Hispanic. However, the school district administrators in charge of the busing system have worked hard to make sure that blacks are segregated from whites in Cleveland’s public schools.

The unrelenting efforts to keep Cleveland’s public schools racially segregated have been under the microscope of a federal judge who wants to disrupt school segregation in the city. U.S. District Judge Debra Brown ruled late last week that Clevlenad has to merge its two middle schoools and two high schools.

Judge Brown wrote a 96-page opinion, which explained her position on racial segregation in Cleveland’s school district. “The delay in desegregation has deprived generations of students of the constitutionally guaranteed right of an integrated education,” Judge Brown wrote.

“Although no court order can right these wrongs, it is the duty of the district to ensure that not one more student suffers under this burden.” she continued.

However, officials representing the Cleveland school district have cited cost as a reason to resist Judge Brown’s order to merge its middle and high schools.

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