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Topeka Brief for the Board of Education Kansas on Questions Propounded by the Court

I. Statement

This brief is filed in response to the order of the Court, entered June 8, 1953, propounding five questions on which briefs were requested. Since the date of that order the Topeka Board of Education on September 3, 1953, duly adopted the following resolution:

"Be it resolved that it is the policy of the Topeka Board of Education to terminate maintenance of segregation in the elementary schools as rapidly as is practicable.";

and on September 8, 1953, it passed a motion, "… that segregation be terminate in the Southwest and Randolph Schools this year …". Prior to the adoption of said resolution the Board of Education maintained twenty separate elementary schools for white children, each of which schools was attended by white children residing within a limited geographic area or boundaries near the school, and it also maintained four separate schools for negro children with large area or district boundaries. Negro students living some distance from school were furnished transportation to and from school if they requested it.

Since September 8, 1953, negro children living within the area boundaries of the Southwest School and the Randolph School are assigned to and are attending those schools along with and equally with white children. The Board is still maintaining the four separate negro schools and eighteen separate white schools.

By reason of its having resolved to terminate segregation in the elementary schools of Topeka "as rapidly as is practicable," the Topeka Board of Education no longer has an actual interest in the controversy over the constitutionality of segregation in such schools, and it therefore prefers to refrain from arguing and briefing Questions 1, 2, and 3 as propounded by the Court, which are directed to the constitutional questions involved.

The Board of Education of Topeka is, however, actually and directly interested in Questions 4 and 5 as propounded by the Court. Briefly summarized, we contend;

First, That termination of segregation in the elementary schools of Topeka will involve difficult and far reaching administrative decisions, affecting nearly all school children, nearly all teachers, and nearly all school buildings, so that to attempt to accomplish it in a hurried or summary manner will be both impossible and impractical.

Second, The public interest, including the interest of negro children in Topeka, equity, and practical considerations require that termination of segregation in the elementary schools of Topeka shall be permitted to be accomplished in a gradual and orderly manner.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Topeka Brief for the Board of Education Kansas on Questions Propounded by the Court - Appeal From The United States District Court For The District Of Kansasbrief For The Board Of Education, Topeka, Kansas, On Questions Propounded By The Court