school desegregation

Dufrocq Elementary students performing at the East Baton Rouge Parish School System's recruitment fair showcasing magnet and gifted and talented programs.
Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The latest applications for annexation into Baton Rouge by LSU and L’Auberge casino could cut further into the tax base for the proposed city of St. George and undermine the incorporation petition.

But supporters of the breakaway aren’t giving up.

They still want their new city, and even more so, a new school district.

Meanwhile, it’s recruitment season for the parish school district and it’s been holding open houses this week for its magnet and gifted and talented programs.

Brown v. Board of Education became the law of the land when it struck down de jure segregation in Topeka, Kan., on May 17, 1954, saying, "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place. Separate facilities are inherently unequal."

Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.

"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."

It was 40 years ago today that the Supreme Court accepted what became a landmark case about school desegregation. The case was controversial because it involved busing student between a largely African-American city — Detroit — and its white suburban areas. The ruling helped cement differences between urban schools and suburban neighborhoods.