We The People

Americans will be grappling with a number of sensitive and critical issues throughout 2013 and beyond.  Some new, some old and some never-ending – concerns about race, religion, violence, politics, guns, climate change, war and civic responsibility are just some of the issues that may polarize all or segments of the nation.  We The People will bring awareness to different viewpoints in the hopes of educating its readership.  Please be encouraged to join in and share your perspective.

On this Day

In 1959 Prince Edward County, Virginia, abandoned the public school system.

Prince Edward County is the source of Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a case incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, which ultimately resulted in the desegregation of public schools in the U.S.  Among the five cases decided under Brown, it was the only one initiated by students themselves, after they walked out in 1951 to protest overcrowding and poor conditions at their separate school under Jim Crow laws.

In Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, a state court rejected the suit, agreeing with defense attorney T. Justin Moore that Virginia was vigorously equalizing black and white schools. The state verdict was appealed to the U.S. District Court, which ruled for the plaintiffs, a decision the school district and the state appealed. Subsequently, it was one of five incorporated into Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark case which in 1954 overturned school segregation in the United States.

One of the new Massive Resistance laws created a program of “tuition grants” which could be given to students so they could attend a private school of their choice. In practice, this meant state support of all-white schools that appeared as a response to forced integration. These newly formed schools became known as the “segregation academies“.

As a result of the Brown decision, and changes in Virginia laws, in 1959 the Board of Supervisors for Prince Edward County refused to appropriate any funds at all for the County School Board, effectively closing all public schools rather than integrate them. Prince Edward County Public Schools remained closed for five years. Prince Edward County was the only school district in the country to resort to such extreme measures.  (Source:  Wikipedia)

272pre_50b3e1f52ca89ba Prince Edward Cuunty Schools

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