293 F.Supp. 1375 (E.D.Ark. 1968), PB-67-C-69, Cato v. Parham

Docket Nº:PB-67-C-69.
Citation:293 F.Supp. 1375
Party Name:Samuel Wayne CATO et al., Plaintiffs, v. Lee PARHAM et al., Defendants.
Case Date:July 25, 1968
Court:United States District Courts, 8th Circuit, Eastern District of Arkansas

Page 1375

293 F.Supp. 1375 (E.D.Ark. 1968)

Samuel Wayne CATO et al., Plaintiffs,


Lee PARHAM et al., Defendants.

No. PB-67-C-69.

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas

July 25, 1968

Page 1376

George Howard, Jr., Pine Bluff, Ark., for plaintiffs.

Robert V. Light, of Smith, Williams, Friday & Bowen, Little Rock, Ark., for defendants.

Memorandum Opinion

HENLEY, Chief Judge.

This cause is now before the Court on the latest desegregation plan submitted by the Board of Directors of the Dollarway School District No. 2, Jefferson County, Arkansas. The plan in the form of a motion and a supporting statement was submitted on June 26. Objections to it have been filed by plaintiffs and intervenors.

The Court has given the plan careful consideration in the light of its contents, the entire record in this case, the record in its predecessor case, Dove v. Parham, E.D.Ark., 196 F.Supp. 944, and ruling opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States and of the Court of Appeals for this Circuit. The Supreme Court cases considered include, of course, the trilogy of decisions handed down by the Court on May 27 of the current year involving the public schools of New Kent County, Virginia; Gould, Arkansas; and Jackson, Tennessee, in all of which districts the school boards were trying to comply with the Brown decisions by employing the so-called 'freedom of choice' or 'free transfer' method of pupil assignment. Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, 391 U.S. 430, 88 S.Ct. 1689, 20 L.Ed.2d 716; Raney v. Board of Education of Gould School District, 391 U.S. 443, 88 S.Ct. 1697, 20 L.Ed.2d 727; Monroe v. Board of Commissioners of the City of Jackson, Tenn., 391 U.S. 450, 88 S.Ct. 1700, 20 L.Ed.2d 733.

The Court sees no occasion for an extended opinion dealing with the Board's present plan; enough has been written already in the course of this protracted litigation. The Court and counsel on both sides are thoroughly familiar with the history of the litigation and of the progress that has been made toward desegregation of student bodies and faculty down to this time.

The Court will emphasize that there can now be no question that the 'Briggs v. Elliott' approach which this Court has used in years past in this case and in others, and which the Board has used in this case, is no longer permissible. Under the Supreme Court decisions above cited it is the duty of local school boards to disestablish dual schools systems based on race, and to establish unitary systems in which there are no identifiable 'white' schools and no identifiable 'Negro' schools, but just 'schools.' And that duty must be discharged promptly; there is no longer room for mere 'deliberate speed.' Prior to the Supreme Court decisions of May 27 the Court of Appeals for this Circuit...

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