Monroe v. Board of Commissioners: The Court’s Ruling

2012-10-14 23:50:16 by admin

Monroe v. Board of Commissioners

Monroe v. Board of Commissioners: Facts of the Case

The Supreme Court granted certiorari and rendered its decision on the same day as the decision in Green v. County School Board of New Kent County. Reviewing the evidence and the holding in Green, the Supreme Court concluded that the Jackson schools had remained one-race schools. After three years, Merry Junior High School was still a one-race school, for example. White students who had been assigned to Merry Junior High School transferred elsewhere. There were only seven African American students in the mainly White Tigrett Junior High School. The only exception was the Jackson School, where there were a substantial number of African American students. The same pattern was maintained in the elementary schools in the district.

The free transfer plan had not allowed the board to meet its affirmative duty to create a unitary school system “in which racial discrimination would be eliminated root and branch,” the Supreme Court ruled. Until the district court intervened, the board had administered the plan in a discriminatory manner, the court said, and this resulted in a lengthy delay in the desegregation of the schools. Furthermore, the court asserted that no plan can have racial segregation as its consequence. The Court made no bones about the fact that the board had administered a plan that allowed it to remain comfortable and unchanged with regard to racial segregation.

The Court stopped short of saying that a board could never adopt a free choice plan. The key issue is whether the plan furthers the goal of achieving a unitary school system. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals with regard to its affirmation of the plan for the junior high schools. The case was remanded for proceedings consistent with the Court’s decision in Green.