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History of Racial Segregation and Diversity in US Schools

1528 words (6 pages) Essay in Education

18/05/20 Education Reference this

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1. Did the state have a history of racial segregation in public schools? If so, explain the state’s efforts to address it and the impact of any court decisions.

. California’s history of racial segregation in public schools is extensive. California became a free state in 1850, but in 1854, African Americans in San Francisco became the first children in the state to attend segregated public schools.  Soon after, a State statute was created to prohibit minorities from attending public schools with white children.  The California State Supreme Court ruled that  segregated schools for African American students were legal in 1874.  This was 22 years before the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) case where the  U.S. Supreme Court reached a conclusion that was similar.  Because of  immigration changes ,Children of Chinese descent were one of the largest minority groups in California in the late 19th century; because of this ,they .  were barred from attending school. In 1885, the state supreme court allowed allowed  them to attend segregated schools.  In the 1930’s the school segregation policies mostly disappeared due to many schools allowing children of Chinese descent to attend regular schools.  Mexican children were sometimes categorized as  white until after 1900, when many  Mexicans moved to California to get jobs on farms or work in labor.  This group soon became a large minority and these changes had some  white Anglos wanting them to  have segregated schools.

 Segregation was the law for all California schools,  until 1943 when Sylvia Mendez and her two brothers made an effort to enroll at the 17th Street School in Westminster.  School officials told her aunt that the Mendez kids could not attend because they were dark-skinned; they had to enroll at a different school  several blocks away.  Mendez’s parents sued the school district.

. In 1946, Judge Paul J. McCormick ruled that the segregation policies in the defendant school districts violated the equal protection clause. On April 14, 1947, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the federal court’s ruling. This landmark civil rights case ended  almost 100 years of segregation in California  for Mexican Americans and set a precedent for the Brown v. Board of Education seven years later which banned segregation in public schools nationwide.

. 2. How do the statutes and school policies attempt to achieve diversity or racial balance in public schools?

. After the Mendez case was upheld ;California Gov. Earl Warren tries to achieve racial balance by pushing the state legislature into repealing laws that segregated Asians and Native American school children in June 1947 which ended nearly 100 years of segregation for all minorities . There was a reluctant start for some of the school districts trying to orchestrate desegregation policies for their students to achieve racial balance and follow the Mendez and the Brown statutes, and these policies ended up in court.  Some examples include 1961, Jackson v. Pasadena City School Dist. case which started when Jar R. Jackson and Lucia Jackson noticed that the local Washington Junior High School zone in the district separated the white and black students.  They filed a lawsuit against the district.  In 1964 the Supreme Court of California overruled after an appeal stemming from Pasadena Superior Court dismissing their complaint.  The court ruled, that the school board needed to refrain from intentionally segregating students despite the reasons for it. There were school policies that did attempt to achieve racial balance but they too ended up in court. One example includes the  Bustop, Inc. v. Los Angeles Bd. of Ed(1978)., where the group Bustop Inc did not like the LA Board trying to orchestrate a desegregation plan in their schools to achieve diversity so they filed a lawsuit.  The case were petitioned to the US Supreme court.  The petitions to stop the plan were subsequently denied by the court.  Now, in the 21st century. The school policies at Pasadena district and the LA unified district continues to evolve in achieving racial balance and diversity.

3. Do the statutes and school policies you reviewed comply with the court decisions you found? If none exist in your state or federal district court, do they comply with the United States Supreme Court decisions we reviewed in Chapter 5?

Be sure to explain your reasoning here and don’t provide just a “yes” or “no’ answer. Provide the analysis to support the answer

My answer is yes and no,  because in the past, right after the Mendez and Brown laws overturn segregation in public schools locally and nationwide.  The answer would be no, at first because the Pasadena and LA unified districts kept trying to find ways to not to comply with the Mendez laws by utilizing segregation plans.   Some examples include orchestrating busing plans which segregate children of different races as was shown in the Jackson and Bustop cases. In the late 20th century to now, my answer would be  yes due to the changes the two districts made  in orchestrating desegregation plans to  their districts,

4. Do the statutes and school policies you reviewed comply with the court decisions you found? If none exist in your state or federal district court, do they comply with the United States Supreme Court decisions we reviewed in Chapter 5?

 Pasadena school district had taken 25 years to comply with the  Mendez Laws. There was the 1970 busing case (Spangler v. Pasadena City Board of Education, 311 F. Supp. 501 (C.D. Cal. 1970) where the Us supreme court found noncompliance due to the district assigning blacks and whites to different schools and ordered the school district to desegregate. After the 1970  Bus Case, Pasadena School district pretty much complied with the state statutes. The LA unified school district was inconsistent with complying with California anti desegregation laws after the Mendez and Brown cases.  For example, there was Crawford v. Los Angeles Board of Educ., 458 U.S. 527 (1982 where the plaintiff sued the LA unified district board due to the allegation that the district still segregates.  The defendant school district appealed but the state of California supreme court affirmed the trial court decision ordering the LA unified district to alleviate racial segregation by the basis of these findings.  The court ordered the defendant school board to prepare and implement a reasonably feasible plan for the desegregation of its schools; It wasn’t until the mid-1980’s that the desegregation process in the LA Unified school district was in full compliance with the California state statutes and propositions., Now, in the 21st century. Today, observers see bus segregation as a non-issue for Pasadena school district. In the LA unified district,

5. Are there other methods of achieving diversity or racial balance that could be tried under your state laws?

Other methods of achieving diversity and racial balance that could be tried under California laws is affirmative action because There was the proposition 209 which banned race from being used in California schools admissions in 1996, however, the US supreme court ruled in 2016 that affirmative action should not be banned entirely. One more method that could be tried in California state courts is Income inequality; because lower-income people sometimes do not fare as well as higher-income recipients in getting access to the best schools.  Perhaps now ,in the 21st century, laws that protect school children that identify as Gay and lesbians would be  a good law that can achieve diversity and racial balance.

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