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Washington v. Seattle School District

Resistance To Change

Before the Seattle plan could be implemented, strong public opposition arose to its provisions. In the fall of 1977 a political organization known as the Citizens for Voluntary Integration Committee (CIVIC) was formed to bar the implementation of the Seattle plan. CIVIC sponsored ballot Initiative 350 for consideration by the state electorate in November of 1978. Initiative 350 placed restrictions on the mandatory busing of students, while still allowing local school districts to assign students to schools other than those nearest their homes for many nondesegretative purposes. While never mentioning race, Initiative 350 was clearly understood to oppose school busing to achieve desegregation.

The district began implementing the Seattle Plan in the fall of 1978, with the immediate effect of desegregating the Seattle school system. On 8 November 1978, however, Initiative 350 was approved by the people of Washington State by a margin of nearly 2-1, and the district was forced to abandon the Seattle Plan.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Washington v. Seattle School District - Significance, A Thorny Problem, Resistance To Change, Legal Remedies, The Power Of The State