In approximately 1967, an unknown group of plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against three Alabama reform schools in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel from New York City, sought to desegregate the schools. On ...
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In approximately 1967, an unknown group of plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit against three Alabama reform schools in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel from New York City, sought to desegregate the schools. On August 2, 1968, the Alabama District Court (Judge Clarence W. Allgood) ordered the Alabama Boys Industrial School and the State Training School for Girls, exclusively white institutions, to submit desegregation plans, which were approved on October 4, 1968. The third school, the Alabama Industrial School for Negro Children, was allowed one year in which to submit a plan. The plaintiffs appealed.
On appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Court (Judge John Minor Wisdom) reversed the District Court's order and remanded with instructions. Crum v. State Training Sch. for Girls, 413 F.2d 1348 (5th Cir. 1969). The Court noted that reformatories fell under the desegregation requirements of Brown v. Bd. of Educ., citing a similar desegregation order in Maryland, State Bd. of Pub. Welfare v. Myers, 167 A.2d 765 (Md. 1961) (JI-MD-0002). Both desegregation plans submitted to the lower court were declared inadequate, as they provided for the admission of only four African American students to the boy's school, and general statements that African Americans would be accepted, at an undisclosed date, to the girl's school. Reasoning that the state has a duty to desegregate reform schools as well as public schools, on July 10, 1969, the Court ordered the three schools to submit one unified plan that would immediately provide for desegregation of both the student body and the faculty of each school. The plaintiffs were allowed to submit an alternate plan.
On remand, the Alabama District Court considered the plaintiffs' and the defendants' proposed plans. After several pre-trial conferences and an evidentiary hearing, the Court disapproved both plans, as neither complied with the requirements of an earlier case Alexander v. Holmes County, 396 U.S. 1218 (1969). On June 5, 1970, the Court ordered that the girls' school be closed and phased out, and further that the three schools be operated as a unitary system without racial discrimination. The Court instituted a plan which required that (1) the girls' school accept all girls between 12 and 18 years of age, regardless of race, on or after June 15, 1970; (2) the boys' school accept all boys between 12 and 14, and phase out all males 15 and over; (3) the Industrial School accept all males between 15 and 18 years; and (4) all three schools employ staff members without regard to race.
We have no further information about this case. Stacey Jensen - 05/22/2006