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Tue, 04.20.1971

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg B. O. E. decided

*On this date in 1971, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education was decided.  This was a landmark United States Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools.  

The Court held that busing was an appropriate remedy for the problem of racial imbalance in schools, even when the imbalance resulted from the selection of students based on geographic proximity to the school rather than from deliberate assignment based on race. This was done to ensure the schools would be "properly" integrated and that all students would receive equal educational opportunities regardless of their race. 

Judge John J. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit interpreted the Brown v. Board of Education case as a charge not to segregate rather than an order to integrate. In 1963, the Court ruled in McNeese v. Board of Education and Goss v. Board of Education in favor of integration and showed impatience with efforts to end segregation.  In 1968 the Warren Court ruled in Green v. County School Board that freedom of choice plans were insufficient to eliminate segregation; thus, it was necessary to take proactive steps to integrate schools. 

In United States v. Montgomery County Board of Education (1969), Judge Frank Johnson's desegregation order for teachers was upheld, allowing an approximate ratio of the races to be established by a district judge.  

Reference:

Law cornel.edu

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