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Brown V. Board

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Hanna Vetrovec

on 21 April 2014

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Transcript of Brown V. Board

Brown V. Board of Education
Previous Events
The Decision
Majority Opinion
Through the Court System
The Essential Question
Brown V. Board of Education
In Topeka, Kansas in the 1950s, schools were segregated by race. Linda Brown and other black children were forced to travel through a dangerous railroad switch yard to reach a bus that took them to their all-black school. There was an all-white school located closer by their house, but because they were black, they were unable to attend. Linda Brown and her family claimed that forcing the black children to attend the all-black school violated the Fourteenth amendment and took their case to court.
The Federal district court decided that segregation in the school systems was indeed harmful to the black children, but since the two schools proved similar in building style, transportation and curricula, it was completely legal. They gave their vote to the Board of Education in that they were right to allow segregation of their schools. The Brown family then appealed their case to the Supreme Court claiming that even though certain things were similar about the different schools, they would never be equal.
Whether or not the segregation of schools is unconstitutional or in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Supreme Court decided that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional in a unanimous decision.
The reasoning of the majority decision was that since education and the learning environment "awaken[s] the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment", it is essential that both blacks and whites receive equal treatment in the area. Separation based solely on race leads to feelings of inferiority which would effect black children for the rest of their lives. Therefore, separate means of education makes, in a way, makes black children and white children unequal, which violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
Judges' Logic
"To separate them [children in grade and high schools] from others of similar age and qualifications solely because of their race generates a feeling of inferiority as to their status in the community that may affect their hearts and minds in a way unlikely to ever be undone [...]"
"Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments."
"Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
I agree with this because separate facilities could be interpreted as the Board of Education labeling the black population as not good enough or equal to those at the all-white school. The idea that the black children aren't good enough for the white school would then lead to feelings of inferiority, which does against the Fourteenth Amendment.
This is agreeable and a logical assumption by the judges because education is one thing that state governments have complete control over rather than the federal government. This is why it is absolutely necessary that black children receive the same education as white children.
This makes sense because having separate schools make the black children feel inferior to the white kids, and therefore, make the two facilities unequal to each other. Furthermore, the saying "separate but equal" can no longer prove true.
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