403 F.2d 12 (8th Cir. 1968), 19406, Cato v. Parham

Docket Nº:19406.
Citation:403 F.2d 12
Party Name:Samuel Wayne CATO, a Minor, by his mother and next friend, Mrs. Artmytchel J. Cato; Charles Henry Dove, a Minor, by his father and next friend, William Dove; Brenda Sue Rawlings and Valeria Lou Rawlings, Minors, by their father and next friend, McKinley W. Rawlings; Linda Faye Ware and Jewell Dean Ware, Minors, by their father and next friend, Henr
Case Date:November 08, 1968
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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403 F.2d 12 (8th Cir. 1968)

Samuel Wayne CATO, a Minor, by his mother and next friend, Mrs. Artmytchel J. Cato; Charles Henry Dove, a Minor, by his father and next friend, William Dove; Brenda Sue Rawlings and Valeria Lou Rawlings, Minors, by their father and next friend, McKinley W. Rawlings; Linda Faye Ware and Jewell Dean Ware, Minors, by their father and next friend, Henry Ware; Avon Neal, a Minor, by his mother and next friend, Mrs. Rosetta Johnson; and Jessie Mae Davis, a Minor, by her mother and next friend, Mrs. Nettie Campbell, Appellants,

v.

Lee PARHAM, Arthur Miller, Orville Phillips, Marvin McDaniel and Victor Brown, Members of the Board of Directors, Dollarway School District No. 2; Charles Fallis, Superintendent of Schools, Dollarway School District No. 2 of Jefferson County, Arkansas; and Dollarway School District No. 2, a Corporation, Appellees.

No. 19406.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.

November 8, 1968

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Barbara A. Morris, New York City, for appellants, Robert L. Carter, New York City, and George Howard, Jr., Pine Bluff, Ark., on the brief.

Robert V. Light, of Smith, Williams, Friday & Bowen, Little Rock, Ark., for appellees, Herschel H. Friday, on the brief.

Before VOGEL, Senior Circuit Judge, LAY and BRIGHT, Circuit Judges.

LAY, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal in a school segregation case involving the Dollarway School District in the State of Arkansas. The litigation is the latest in a series of cases extending back to 1959 1 wherein efforts have been made to end the dual system of segregated white and Negro schools and to bring about a unitary, nonracial school system under the mandate of Brown v. Board of Educ. (Brown II), 349 U.S. 294, 75 S.Ct. 753, 491 L.Ed. 1083 (1955). As the record of this appeal demonstrates, these efforts have for the most part been abortive in result. 2

The facts demonstrate that at the present time the Dollarway School District unconstitutionally maintains a biracial school system with only token integration. The Townsend Park schools, with 809 high school students and 894 students in the combined elementary school, is entirely Negro. The Dollarway schools, with 726 high school students and 546 students in the combined elementary grades, is predominantly white. At the commencement of this litigation in September 1967, only 49 Negro students, 20 in the elementary schools and 29 in the high school, were enrolled in the Dollarway schools. Thus approximately three per cent of the total enrollment in the Dollarway schools was Negro. Another elementary school, Pinecrest with 322 students, remains entirely white. These schools serve an area of approximately 25 square miles, and are located about one mile apart.

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Through the board's use of a so-called 'freedom-of-choice' plan, we are informed that during the 1968-69 school term there are 79 Negro students attending the Dollarway schools. This leaves approximately 95 per cent of the Negro students still attending the Townsend Park schools. No white students have exercised their 'free choice' to attend the Townsend Park schools. It is quite obvious that under the standards of Green v. County School Bd., 3 391 U.S. 430, 88 S.Ct. 1689, 20 L.Ed.2d 716 (1968), the board's 'freedom-of-choice' plan will not achieve the goal of a unitary school system. The July 25, 1968, order of the district court clearly recognizes this fact. The court has ordered the board to come forth with a plan 'to disestablish its dual school system and to convert promptly to a unitary system * * *' to be effective by the opening of the 1969-70 session.

The posture of the present appeal brought on behalf of the students presents two questions: (1) whether the court's order that the board must adopt a unitary plan 4 by the 1969-70 school term should be advanced to the second semester of the present school year, and (2) whether $700.00 allowance of attorney fees is adequate in view of the work and time spent by plaintiffs' counsel since September 1967 in the existing case.

We have reviewed the present record. The district Court's memorandum, 293 F.Supp. 1375, demonstrates complete awareness of the board's overall refusal to come forth with a workable plan without 'judicial prodding.' The district court is fully aware of the pronouncement of the United States Supreme Court and this court relating to the need to achieve a unitary school system at this time.

The board in resisting desegregation of faculty in the overall plan urges: (1) that there exists no constitutional mandate date to desegregate faculties, 5 and (2)

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that discriminatory teacher assignment policies are justified on the basis of speech dialect and communication. 6 The board's testimony below presents a belated evidentiary debate challenging the reasonableness of the 1954 equal protection policies of Brown I. 7 Notwithstanding such arguments, the district court has properly delineated that board's obligation to bring forth by December 1 a plan to be effectuated in September 1969 which creates a racially nondiscriminatory school system. The district court has made clear that the time for rhetoric is over. The United States Supreme Court has made clear the time is 'now.'

We agree the board's present freedom-of-choice plan is inadequate in many respects (see Kemp II, Altheimer, supra). However, we see little practical gain in repairing the deficiencies of the present freedom-of-choice plan at this time since it is apparent on its face that it will not work. Nor do we feel there is sufficient time by second semester to restructure the school district without harm to the students by disrupution of classes and teachers. Plaintiffs stated they would not insist on such restructuring if they could be assured that the board would come forth in good faith with a unitary plan of December 1, 1968, to take effect in September 1969. Plaintiffs

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rest their doubt upon the board's past performance. Counsel for the board has assured this court that the board is studying a geographic zoning plan which will not in any way be 'gerrymandered,' 8 and which will create a nonracial school system. We accept that assurance. In the event the board does not bring forth a plan by December 1, 1968, detailing an integrated school system, 9 the district court may exercise its discretion to take evidence...

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