NCYL Joins 50-Year Effort to De-segrate Schools in Mississippi
National Center for Youth Law has joined as co-counsel on Denise Cowan v. Bolivar County Board of Education, a case filed by residents of Bolivar County, Mississippi over 50 years ago seeking a remedy to persistent and pervasive segregation in the County’s schools.
This case stems directly from the landmark United States Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education, which held that “in the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.” A year later, on May 31, 1955, the Supreme Court issued a second order directing compliance with Brown I “with all deliberate speed.”
The school district in Bolivar County failed to successfully integrate its schools for a generation, despite multiple court orders. In May, 2016, after decades of litigation, a federal judge ordered the school district to desegregate its schools.
Efforts are underway to realize the 2016 federal court’s promise that - after 50 years of delay - all middle and high school students in the Cleveland School District will have equal access to educational resources and opportunity for generations to come.