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UNITED STATES v. SCH. DIST. 151 OF COOK CTY.

July 8, 1968

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 151 OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS; CHARLES WATTS, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOL DISTRICT 151; RICHARD GRAF, WALLACE DAVIS, LOUIS WIERSMA, GERALD BENNETT, JAMES HENDRIX, DONALD MCGEE AND HOBART KRILLIC, MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF SCHOOL DISTRICT 151 OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Julius J. Hoffman, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

This matter is before the court this morning for the disposition of the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction under the provisions of Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The cause has been fully tried, briefed and argued and the court has had the benefit of a transcript of the evidence together with all of the documentary and physical exhibits offered by the parties and admitted into evidence by the court.

The action involves alleged school segregation and is brought under the provisions of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c et seq. The court has determined that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought based on the facts as they have been found by the court and the applicable law and an injunction will issue against the defendants which will insure that no longer will there be discrimination on the basis of race in the operation of School District 151 for the 1968-1969 school year and thereafter.

It is more than fourteen years since the Supreme Court ruled that "in the field of public education the doctrine of `separate but equal' has no place." It is more than thirteen years since the Court said that desegregation should proceed "with all deliberate speed." Too often there has been deliberation but no speed. There has not even been a beginning in some cases, despite increasing and well documented evidence showing that racial segregation in the schools has been detrimental to the Negro child, the white child, and to the United States.

School segregation, whatever the cause, has the effect of stigmatizing Negro pupils and retarding their educational development. The mere fact of separation encourages invidious comparison; and the false conclusion that the Negro pupil is inferior to the white pupil is tragically forced on the black child himself through constant elaboration and repetition. He sees white parents removing their children from his vicinity as if to protect them from contagion, and he sees school boards and administrators creating separate isolation wards to contain him. The absence of white teachers is an added affront. If poverty has prevented him from obtaining cultural and educational experiences that promote the development of children who have economic and social advantages, he generally scores below the average in standard achievement tests. Unless he receives significant remedial instruction he continues to limp along one, two, or three years behind his grade level, not expected to catch up and therefore not motivated to do so. Robbed of incentive, self-confidence, and self-esteem, he is in grave danger of becoming another battered child, for just as physical abuse batters the body, so psychological injury can batter the personality.

Not unnaturally, a child so afflicted becomes a drop-out and a drifter. Even the one who finishes school has been conditioned to believe that the future holds nothing better for him than a menial job. This represents an unconscionable theft of a child's birthright and a waste of human resources which could be of great value to the nation.

Though integration does not automatically raise the Negro student's grades, it provides an atmosphere in which he finds that they can be raised and that there is good reason for raising them. He is stimulated and motivated by contact with teachers who expect him to succeed and with pupils who know by example, as many Negro children do not, that education leads to job opportunity and a chance of a good life.

The white opponents of pupil and faculty integration, on the other hand, are doing a disservice to their own children when they deprive them of the opportunity to know members of another race and to be saved from the ignorant, arrogant belief that a white skin is proof of preeminence. The white child's education is woefully inadequate if it does not illuminate those dark corners of the mind in which prejudice lurks. Both white and black children are being misled when they are told, directly or by implication, that it is best for them to be taught only by members of their own race. They are being cheated when they are deprived of the experience of working together and learning about one another in school as preparation for life in an inter-racial world of adults.

Barriers to understanding not only cripple the individual but also endanger the nation. Clearly, the future of the United States depends in no small part on education — not the education of white children but the education of all children. We do not need another fact-finding commission to tell us that something must be done to prevent a school situation which produces apathy and hopelessness that cause a life to be wasted, or frustration and anger that cause it to be risked in public disorders. It is not rational to maintain a situation which is conducive to the kind of behavior that we must prevent or to expect schools to produce law-abiding citizens in a school system that flouts the law. School boards and school administrators have a moral and civic duty as well as a legal duty to end segregation. To fail the Negro child would be to fail the nation.

An order providing that the defendants, their agents, officers, employees and successors, and all those in active concert and participation with them, be preliminarily enjoined from discriminating on the basis of race or color in the operation of School District 151 and in the assignment of teachers or students in the district will be entered. This order will be based on the findings of fact and conclusions of law filed here today by the court in accordance with the provisions of Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

FINDINGS OF FACT

1. School District 151 is an elementary public school district organized and existing under the laws of the State of Illinois. It is located in Cook County, Illinois, and consists of portions of the communities of Phoenix, Thornton, Harvey, and South Holland. Appendix A to these findings is a map of School District 151. (Tr. 153 (Kingsland); Govt. Ex. P-4; Answer, para. 3)

2. Charles Watts is Superintendent of School District 151. Richard Graf, Wallace Davis, Louis Wiersma, Gerald Bennett, James Hendrix, Donald McGee and Hobart Krillic are the members of the Board of Education of School District 151. Under the laws of the State of Illinois and the Policy Manual for District 151, the members of the Board of Education and the Superintendent are charged with the responsibility of operating the public schools of District 151. (Answer, para. 6; Ill.Ann.Stat., Ch. 122, Sec. 10-21.4; Policy Manual for District 151.)

3. The following table lists the schools located in School District 151, the dates of their initial utilization, and their locations:

Date of
Schools      Initial Use    Location
Roosevelt    1931           320 E. 161st Pl., S. Holland
Coolidge     1933           155th St. and 7th Ave., Phoenix
Madison      1957-58        157th St. & Orchid Dr., S. Holland
Eisenhower   1960-61        16001 Minerva Ave., S. Holland
Taft         1966-67        163rd St. and Union, Harvey
Kennedy      1966-67        155 St. and 8th Ave., Phoenix

4. Approximately 98% of the residents of the Village of Phoenix are Negro. The part of Phoenix in School District 151 is bounded on the north by 151st Street, on the west by Halsted Street, on the south by the Gulf Trail Railroad tracks and 155th Street, and on the east by 9th Avenue and Van Drunen Road. No Negroes reside in any area of School District 151 other than in the community of Phoenix. (Tr. 153, 175 (Kingsland); Govt. Ex. P-4)

5. No Negro student has ever attended the Madison or Eisenhower schools. No Negro student has ever attended Roosevelt School during the regular school year. Negroes have attended summer school sessions at Roosevelt. No Negro student has attended the Taft School, except for approximately ten mentally handicapped students ("special education classes") during the 1967-68 school year. Mentally handicapped students are assigned to school without regard to residence. (Tr. 154-157 (Kingsland); Tr. 289 (McGovern))

6. In 1948, the enrollment of the Coolidge School was approximately 70% white. As of the 1956-57 school year, and thereafter, the enrollment of the Coolidge School was approximately 99% Negro. The enrollment of the Kennedy School has been almost entirely Negro for 1966-67 and 1967-68, the two school years of its operation. During the 1967-1968 school year, the students at Coolidge and Kennedy were approximately 99% Negro. There were approximately 10 or 12 white children in these schools, and some of these were mentally handicapped children assigned to the schools without regard to residence. (Tr. 154-55 (Kingsland); Tr. 289-291, 296 (McGovern) Tr. 748-9 (Watts))

7. Total student enrollment at District 151 schools during the 1967-1968 school year (April, 1968) is shown on the following table:

    Coolidge             426
    Kennedy              396
    Roosevelt            452
    Madison              445
    Eisenhower           622
    Taft                 308

(Gov't. Ex. A-19)

8. When George Kingsland became Superintendent in School District 151 in 1948, all teachers employed in the District were white. The first Negro teacher in School District 151 was Huel Gwin, who was employed at the Coolidge School for the 1953-54 school year. During the 1964-65 school year, a Negro music teacher and a Negro permanent substitute teacher taught in all schools in the District. These teachers were the first Negro teachers assigned to teach in School District 151 in schools other than Coolidge. (Tr. 151, 160, 180-1, 186-7 (Kingsland); Tr. 294, 313 (McGovern); Gov't. Ex. D-12, p. 4; F-3, p. 56; F-4, p. 1; R).

9. Before the 1966-1967 school year, no full-time Negro classroom teacher was employed in the Roosevelt, Madison, Eisenhower or Taft Schools. One Negro classroom teacher was employed in each of these schools on a full-time basis for the 1966-1967 school year, as the result of a decision by the Board of Education to have one Negro teacher for each of these schools for that year. Two Negro classroom teachers were employed at the Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Taft Schools for the 1967-1968 school year and one at the Madison School. In addition, one Negro teacher's aid was employed at the Taft School for that year. (Tr. 292-3 (McGovern); Tr. 163-5, 192-3 (Kingsland); Tr. 521-3 (Bogolub); Gov't. Ex. R; Gov't. Ex. O-1, pp. 5-6 (McGovern); Gov'Us Ex. C-4, C-5).

10. The number of full-time teachers, by race, employed at each of the schools in the District between the years 1953 and 1968 is shown on the following table:

Faculty Year School
White   Negro       Race Unknown
1953-54  Roosevelt         12       0               0
         Coolidge           7       1               1
1954-55  Roosevelt         15       0               0
         Coolidge           8       2               1
1955-56  Roosevelt         17       0               0
         Coolidge           9       3               0
1956-57  Roosevelt         18       0               0
         Coolidge           9       5               0
1957-58  Roosevelt         20       0               0
         Coolidge           6       9               0
         Madison            6       0               0
1958-59  Roosevelt         19       0               0
         Coolidge           6      12               0
         Madison           13       0               0
1959-60  Roosevelt         19       0               0
         Coolidge           2      17               0
         Madison           16       0               0
1960-61  Roosevelt         19       0               0
         Coolidge           0      22               0
         Madison           16       0               0
         Eisenhower         8       0               0
1961-62  Roosevelt         20       0               0
         Coolidge           0      25               0
         Madison           17       0               0
         ...

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