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previous year. In September 1960 five more school districts opened the doors to their white schools to Negro pupils. Dr. Miller, State Superintendent of Schools for Delaware, testified at the Commission's Gatlinburg conference that the State had made noteworthy progress in desegregation in the year immediately following the 1954 Supreme Court decision; he pointed out, however, that before September 1959 the process was concentrated in that portion of the State north of Dover. He said that none of the schools south of the capital had attempted desegregation after the unfortunate Milford incident in 1954.
It is noteworthy, therefore, that desegregation in 1959 and 1960 was predominantly in the lower half of the State which is traditionally Southern in orientation. No incidents of any kind occurred.“
Although school desegregation has progressed in an orderly fashion without incidents in Kentucky, a trend toward a decrease in the actual number of Negro pupils attending schools with white pupils may be developing. The number of desegregated school districts in Kentucky has increased each year since 1955, but the actual number of Negro pupils in desegregated schools reached a peak during the school year 1959–60 and decreased in September 1960. The Department of Education of Louisville (where a large proportion of the State's Negro population is concentrated) reported to the Commission that in 1959, 76.4 percent of its Negro pupils were enrolled in biracial schools, whereas in 1960 the number decreased to 73.8 percent; meanwhile the percentage of white students in biracial schools declined from 88.4 to 83.4.62 This occurred in spite of the fact that there was a slight numerical increase in the total Negro school population in Louisville and a slight decrease in the white school population in 1960.63 The report also stated that no records were kept as to the number of requests for transfer out of formerly Negro schools by white pupils, or the number of Negro pupils requesting transfer out of formerly white schools. However, when asked to explain the overall decrease in pupils attending biracial schools, an assistant State superintendent said that evidently more pupils were taking advantage of the transfer privileges to attend schools where their own race predominated.*
Although no school district in Kentucky was newly desegregated by Federal court order in 1959–60, the Owen County Board of Education was ordered to desegregate its elementary schools at the opening of the 1959-60 school year. The county high schools had been desegregated in the fall of 1958 by court order.
All of the 23 school districts in Maryland having a biracial school enrollment have been desegregated as a matter of policy for several years, although only 15 actually operated biracial schools in 1959–61.68 When schools opened in September 1960, 45,943 67 out of a total Negro public school population in the State of about 135,000, or 34 percent, were in school with white students. However, 39,206 of the Negro pupils attending biracial schools, or almost 85 percent, were in the city of Baltimore. Of the remaining 15 percent, more than half were in two suburban counties, Baltimore and Montgomery, and the balance scattered in 11 counties." The eight counties having a Negro school population but no biracial schools are, in general, rural and have a high proportion of Negroes.
It is interesting that the city of Baltimore (desegregated completely in 1954) has had a marked increase in its Negro population, but only a slight increase in the percentage of Negroes attending schools with whites. In September 1960 it was 49 percent of all Negro pupils as compared with 46 percent 2 years earlier. "
Since the public schools of Missouri have not keep records by race for several years and no official State agency has reported on the desegregation process, only partial information has been available. The 1960 report of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, however, indicated that in 1959 most Negro children in Missouri still were in all-Negro schools, although in most counties with school-age Negroes some desegregation had occurred. While response to its inquiries were not complete, it concluded that the data received covered 97.56 percent of the Negroes in the State." Two counties reported that no attempt to desegregate schools had been made; another indicated that it transported its Negro schoolchildren to a neighboring county.
The Commission said: 78
Thirty-seven units reported that elementary schools in their county had been integrated, and 11 that they had not; 38 that junior high schools had been integrated, 10 that they had not; 44 that senior high schools had been integrated, i that the senior high school had not.
Considering those public schools which were used in tabulation, 86.2 percent of the senior high schools, 74 percent of the junior high schools, and 70 percent of the elementary schools reported that
they were integrated. Thirty-six percent of the tabulated units indicated that they still had inadequate all-Negro schools.
Mr. James A. Hazlett, Superintendent of Schools of Kansas City, reported at this Commission's Gatlinburg conference that when Kansas City schools opened on a completely integrated basis at all grade levels in September 1955, 43 out of 81 elementary schools were all-white, 6 were totally Negro, and 32 had pupils of both races. Seven of the 10 senior high schools enrolled Negroes and whites as did all 4 junior high schools.74
As of November 1960, the superintendent reported, 53 of the city's 97 schools enrolled both races. This figure includes 41 elementary schools, 4 junior and 6 senior high schools and the junior college."
In the school year 1958-59 only 4 of North Carolina's 172 school districts enrolling both white and Negro pupils operated biracial schools. In the year 1960-61 the total number of Negro and white school districts had increased to 173, of which 10 had 1 or more desegregated schools.
In September 1959, by the voluntary action of the school board, Negro pupils were assigned to the previously white schools of Durham for the first time. Mr. E. L. Phillips, assistant superintendent and director of secondary instruction for the public schools of Durham, in a written statement to the Commission for the Gatlinburg conference, stated that in accordance with the usual practice all white pupils were assigned to white schools and all Negroes to Negro schools." However, the board received 225 requests for transfers from Negro pupils, 8 of which were approved. Two Negro students were assigned to the white high school and two each to three junior high schools formerly serving white students only. Before the school session began, the family of two of the pupils assigned to a white junior high school moved into the immediate vicinity of a Negro school and the two pupils were reassigned there. Then 2 weeks after school opened another Negro girl, one of the plaintiffs in a pending desegregation suit, was also reassigned to the white high school." Thus Durham had a total of seven Negro pupils in four formerly white schools during the 1959-60 school year.
Two hundred and six Negro pupils filed transfer requests for the 1960-61 term-only seven were granted.18 Twelve Negro pupils, including some transferred the year before, attended school with whites in the year 1960-61."
In 1959-60 the High Point Board of Education received 13 requests from Negro pupils to attend white schools, and granted 2 during the second session of the school year to mark the district's first desegrega
80 One Negro pupil was assigned to a junior high school attended by 1,325 white students and i was assigned to a high school with 1,450 white students.81 Thirteen requests for reassignment were again received for the year 1960–61. One was granted, increasing the total Negro enrollment in formerly white schools to three. 82
Craven County desegregated its schools in September 1959 by voluntary action of its school board. By resolution adopted in July 1959, the board said it would cooperate with authorities of the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point "to provide appropriate relief” for “hardship cases” resulting from the assignment of children of Negro military personnel to schools about 18 miles away. It commended the district school committee adjacent to the station for recognizing the desirability of having such children attend its previously white schools, provided they "meet the reasonable requirements to be specified” by the district principal and local school committee, and appropriate procedures for assignment.
In implementation of this resolution, 14 Negro pupils were assigned to two elementary schools that had a combined total enrollment of 1,500 white pupils. Since desegregation was initiated in Craven County, all requests by Negro dependents of military personnel for transfer to predominantly white schools have been granted. In the year 1960–61, 25 were so enrolled.
The North Carolina Advisory Committee reported that both the Craven and Wayne County public schools (desegregated in the spring of 1959) were attended primarily by children of United States military personnel, although a few other white children also attended. Other reports, however, indicate that after the schools were desegregated, both school boards designated them for exclusive use of airbase children.85
The administrative procedure of the North Carolina Pupil Placement and Assignment Act 88 has kept school desegregation to a minimum in that State. In only two of the many suits seeking desegregation in North Carolina has there been a decision on the merits, and in only one of these were Negro children ordered admitted to a white school.87 In all other cases plaintiffs have been unsuccessful because they had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies before resorting to a Federal court as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit requires.88
The successful desegregation suit was against the school board of Yancey County which maintained no public schools for Negroes during the 1959–60 school session. In September 1960 it assigned all Negro pupils to a newly constructed two-room school. The Federal court held that, since the county maintained two accredited high schools, it could not send its eight Negro high school pupils elsewhere. They were assigned to regular high schools at the opening of the 1960-61 term.89
A desegregation suit against the Greensboro City Board of Education was dismissed as moot by a Federal district court in January 1960 because the plaintiffs had been assigned to the white school to which they sought admission. However at the time of assignment the school was consolidated with the Negro school located on the same site and all of the white pupils were subsequently granted transfers to other schools. The school in effect had been converted into a segregated school for Negroes. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed the decision with instruction to the lower court to retain jurisdiction to see that the plaintiffs were sent to appropriate schools. On May 12, 1961, the district court ordered the Greensboro School Board to reassign the plaintiffs, for the school year 1961–62, to “an appropriate school in accordance with their constitutional rights.” The students have been directed to make their school choices known.o2
Raleigh (where a desegregation suit was pending) as experienced desegregation for the first time during the 1960-61 school year when a Negro boy was assigned to an elementary school with some 400 white pupils." The boy's parents had requested assignment of three children to white schools, but the applications of two junior high school pupils were rejected. Another second-grader has been assigned to the school desegregated in September 1960 for the year 1961-62.5 A new suit was filed on June 10, 1961, on behalf of 66 Negro pupils seeking an immediate end of racial segregation in Raleigh's public schools and asking an injunction against the use of race as a criterion in pupil assignment.
Chapel Hill (where desegregation suits were pending) o desegregated its public schools in August 1960, when the school board reassigned 3 Negro pupils (out of 12 requests)"? to attend an elementary school enrolling 400 white pupils. The school board had received a request from a Negro for transfer to a white school the year before but it had been denied. At the beginning of the 1960-61 term the board announced that upon request it would admit first-grade students to schools nearest their homes without regard to race. This meant that Chapel Hill, like all other school districts in North Carolina, would make initial assignments on the basis of race. Any desegregation would be on a reassignment basis only. On July 3, 1961, however, the school board announced a change of policy effective for the school year 1961-62. All elementary schools will be rezoned without regard to race and all first grade pupils assigned to the school of their residential zone. Parents will have “right or privilege to request transfers” of their children.sa Thus, Chapel Hill is the first school district in North Carolina to abandon initial assignments by race. However, after complaints from patrons of the Carrboro School, the school board “gerrymandered the new district lines in order to reduce the number of Negroes who would be assigned to Carrboro from about 30 to about 10." 99b