Honoring Brown vs. Board of Education 60 years later

Recently, our nation quietly celebrated a significant anniversary for public schools everywhere. May 14, 2014, marked the 60th anniversary of what is known as the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. The landmark ruling by the United States Supreme Court was historically significant for schools and communities and students. In a unanimous decision by the high court, Chief Justice Earl Warren provided the ruling of the United State Supreme Court declaring that the practice of segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. On May 14, 1954, Chief Justice Warren delivered the opinion of the Supreme Court, sharing in his summarizing statements that, “We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. . .”

The Brown vs. Board of Education decision set in motion a series of significant actions to desegregate schools across the nation. The actions of a courageous family to ensure students were treated fairly and equally reaffirmed the basic rights found in the United State constitution that all men were created equal.

Even though the Brown case was viewed as a legal challenge in schools, the landmark decision had far-reaching influences.

The Brown decision by the United States Supreme Court sought to end the practice of “separate but equal” throughout every segment of our society. Areas such as public transportation, dining facilities, public schools and other public venues were all influenced by the Brown decision.

While it has been 60 years since the landmark decision, the significance of the Brown vs. Board of Education continues yet today across our nation and right here in Marshall Public Schools. As our community and region continues to celebrate and embrace our increasing diversity, we are reminded that our schools, our community and our region must continue to be a welcoming place. The Marshall Public Schools continues to celebrate and honor the intent of the landmark Brown decision. The district provides all students equal opportunities to obtain a high quality education. In an ongoing effort to ensure all students are engaged in school-related activities, our district, very intentionally, measures student participation in all school activities including extracurricular and co-curricular activities. Our district administrators and school board monitor student enrollment in rigorous coursework including Advanced Placement (AP) course and College in the School (CIS) courses to ensure all students in Marshall Public Schools are participating in the full slate of challenging coursework offered in our district. The nature of schools serves to ensure that our schools continue to provide each student an opportunity to realize their full potential and achieve their hopes, goals and dreams.

Be assured that your Marshall Public Schools continues to honor the words of Chief Justice Warren that separate but equal has no place in our schools. Further the outstanding educators of Marshall Public Schools continue to honor the landmark decision of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision every day as we strive to fulfill our mission of “developing the potential of each learner for success in a changing world.” Please join me and others everywhere as we recognize the landmark 1954 decision and celebrate the rich diversity of our region. And remember, it is a great day to be a Tiger!