School desegregation attempts bring mixed results in the South.
1970 (Sep 9)
Another round of school desegregation in the South was marked by stiffening white resistance to federal court orders and confusion over new student assignments. More disruptions were recorded with this batch of school re-openings than had occurred when most of the South's schools desegregated peacefully on August 31. White parents in Mobile, Alabama, resisted desegregation efforts by boycotting their newly assigned schools and enrolling their children in their formerly segregated schools. The school superintendent in Bogalusa, Louisiana, closed the public schools on September 14 after police used tear gas to end a fight between Black and white students at a recently desegregated school. Police Chief Thomas Mixon, Jr., estimated six hundred high school students were involved in the two-hour altercation in which fourteen students were arrested. On September 10, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) charged that the Mobile school board had discriminated against Black children in the inner city by its deployment of 225 school buses. The board replied that it did not have the time or the funds to buy more buses to handle inner city children. On September 14, the Justice department accused the same school board of repeated violations of desegregation orders. Federal Judge Daniel H. Thomas commanded the board to cease circumventing the school orders. There was little resistance in the large Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, school system as it reopened under a court-ordered desegregation plan that required extensive busing of children. The plan had aroused community opposition in Charlotte, yet school officials said 80 percent of the high school students reported to their classes.