schools, and since 1958 the Superintendent of Schools.
In 1950 seven Negro students, of whom Spottswood T. Bolling was alphabetically the first, filed suit in federal court seeking admission to Sousa Junior High, a Division I school. On May 19, 1954, in Bolling v. Sharpe, 347 U.S. 497, 74 S. Ct. 693, 98 L. Ed. 884, the companion case to Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in Washington's schools was incompatible with the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. For the argument on remedy Bolling and Brown were consolidated. A year and two weeks after Brown I, the Court in Brown II, 349 U.S. 294, 75 S. Ct. 753, 99 L. Ed. 1083 (1955), issued its famous decree of "all deliberate speed" and, noting that "[substantial] progress has been made in the District," supra at 299, 75 S. Ct. at 756, remanded Bolling to the District of Columbia federal district court. A month later, whether because by that time plaintiffs had all graduated from the District's schools or for other reasons, the Bolling action was dismissed.
B. The Board's Desegregation Plan.
1. As the Board of Education correctly understood, the Bolling decision affected the constitutional rights not of the complainants alone but of the entire Negro community in the District. Accordingly, within the week after Bolling and Brown I, the Board of Education released a plan for desegregation, one drawn up tentatively by the school administration the year before, widely known as the Corning Plan after the then Superintendent. By the opening of school in September 1955 it was in full effect.
As for placement of students, the plan embraced and asserted a policy, with modifications, of neighborhood schools. That is, geographical boundaries were traced around each school, the school somewhere near the center of the defined area; with the significant exceptions noted below in Sections I-D-3 and I-E of these findings, students attending public school and residing within each enclosure were required to go to the school inside that enclosure. (Tr. 135). Elementary school districts were kept compact enough so that most youngsters could easily walk to the schools from their homes, usually a distance of less than half a mile. (Tr. 3728, 3730.) Junior high school zones were of greater size - several elementary schools "feeding" into one junior high - and senior high zones were more inclusive still.
2. Neighborhood elementary schools have undeniable advantages. Neither school nor parents need bear any transportation expenses, since the school is within walking distance of home. For the same reason, the safety hazards and the expense of time involved in getting from home to school are held at a minimum; also, students may conveniently return home for lunch, and, with no school bus to catch, may linger after school with school work or after-school activities. Locating schools within the neighborhoods facilitates a closer relationship between school and parents, and gives the student a chance to make friends during the school day with the children of his own age who live near his home. (Tr. 3120-3121; 4047-4049; 5031-5035; 6091-6094, 6194-6196.)
For junior and senior high schools, however, the relevant "neighborhoods" so expand that the advantages said to accrue with neighborhood schools in great part attenuate. (See Tr. 198.) As shown above, those advantages primarily depend on a neighborhood school only a reasonable walk from home; and the maps of school zone lines in the city make it clear that most Washington secondary school students must rely on some form of transportation in getting to and from school.
C. Washington Residential Patterns.
Adoption of a neighborhood policy for student assignment inevitably impresses the racial residential patterns within the city on the schools with dramatic consequences. This section of the findings, drawing on evidence scattered through the exhibits, will try to sketch those patterns in the large. Below, to begin, are figures graphing the gradual displacement of whites by Negroes in the city and in its schools.
Per Cent Per Cent
Year City School
1930 27% 32%
1940 28% 39%
1950 35% 50.1%
1953 40% 56.8%
1960 55% 79.7%
1965 61% 89.4%
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