This had the effect of delaying integration in some

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schools and so did not set an exact deadline. This had the effect of delaying integration in some areas for nearly a generation. Image description: Front page of The New York Times, 18 May 1954, announcing the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education school segregation case. Slide 4: Green v. County School Board, 1968 As the Civil Rights Movement achieved other successes and national attention, the Supreme Court faced issues of how to desegregate the schools. An important case related to this issue was Green v. County School Board of New Kent County . Thinking Point Is allowing parents to select their children's school of attendance an acceptable approach to integration? Slide 5: Green v. County School Board, 1968 (Background) Rural New Kent County in Virginia had just two schools—one for black students in grades kindergarten through twelve and one for whites that spanned the same grades. The school for white students had a gym and sports fields while the other did not. It also had better classroom materials and equipment. Charles Green was a father concerned about the quality of his sons' education. He was part of his local NAACP chapter and learned that the group was looking for people willing to challenge school boards on desegregation policy in the courts. School districts that failed to comply with the Brown ruling and civil rights legislation could lose their federal funding. Green volunteered to help, convincing many parents in his community to join him in demanding that the school board integrate the schools. They were ignored until the NAACP
filed a lawsuit in the name of one of Green's sons. The school board adopted a "freedom of choice" plan that would allow parents of African American students to apply for admission to the white school. Few parents took advantage of that plan, likely in fear of community reaction, and thus it had no significant impact on the racial breakdown of the schools. The NAACP argued that the "freedom of choice" plan was unfair because it required African Americans themselves to desegregate the schools rather than the district carrying it out. The lawyers argued that the county used buses to maintain segregated schools as some students had to travel far to reach their assigned school. Image description: Map of counties in Virginia highlighting New Kent County Slide 6: Green v. County School Board, 1968 (Decision) Is allowing parents to select their children's school of attendance an acceptable approach to integration? The Supreme Court (with Thurgood Marshall now a justice) ruled that it was not acceptable because it did not have the effect of desegregating the schools. Note that the ruling did not determine "freedom of choice" plans as unconstitutional. It just stated that the plan was unacceptable if it failed to achieve integration. The case showed that the court was losing patience with those taking advantage of the "all deliberate speed" phrasing from the Brown decision. The justices realized that they needed a new plan to "convert promptly to a system without a 'white' school and a 'Negro' school, but just schools." New Kent County converted its all-white school into a single, integrated high

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