University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Board SD-LA-0016
Docket / Court 6:65-cv-11053-TLM ( W.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On May 4, 1965, five African-American children attending public schools filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued the Evangeline Parish School Board to enjoin the operation of a racially segregated school system in Evangeline Parish, ... read more >
On May 4, 1965, five African-American children attending public schools filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued the Evangeline Parish School Board to enjoin the operation of a racially segregated school system in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. This case has a lengthy history involving consolidations, appeals, and court supervision that lasted until 2012.

Original Desegregation Process

On June 4, 1965, the district court (Judge Richard Johnson Putnam) ordered the School Board to submit a desegregation plan within thirty days. The School Board submitted and the district court approved a “freedom of choice” plan that would desegregate the 1st and 12th grades by September 1965 and the rest of the grades by September 1968. However, the Fifth Circuit ruled that same month that these slowly phased integration plans were inadequate in Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 355 F.2d 865 (1965). Singleton precipitated a district court hearing about whether the desegregation plan was adequate. The hearing was consolidated with other cases raising similar issues. In an opinion issued on August 13 in the consolidated cases, Judge Putnam decided that at least four grades must be immediately desegregated. Trahan v. Lafayette Parish School Board, 244 F. Supp. 583 (1965). On August 23, Judge Putnam determined that Evangeline Parish’s grades 2 and 11 (in addition to 1 and 12) must be desegregated in 1965.

Over the next few years, the Parish implemented parts of the limited desegregation plan. Unhappy with the results, the plaintiffs asked for additional relief on December 11, 1967, which the court denied, and the plaintiffs appealed. The appeal was consolidated with several other appeals of similar phased integration plans adopted by judges in the Western District of Louisiana. In 1969, the Fifth Circuit decided the consolidated appeals by ruling that “freedom of choice” plans were wholly inadequate. Hall v. St. Helena Parish School Board, 417 F.2d 801 (1969). For more details on the procedural history of the consolidated cases that led to Hall, of which this case was a part, please see this page on the Clearinghouse.

The Fifth Circuit’s opinion required the district court to adopt a new desegregation plan, but the parties disputed who should create it. Eventually, the court adopted a plan designed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on August 5, 1969.

Before the Evangeline Parish schools could open in September 1969, 115 white residents sued in state court to enjoin the implementation of the desegregation order. While the schools opened on September 2, 1969, they did so with only 20% student attendance, with many white students refusing to attend desegregated public schools. On the night of September 2, 1969, the School Board passed a resolution closing all schools indefinitely. The district court responded by issuing a temporary restraining order on September 9, 1969, forcing the School Board to re-open the schools. The district court issued a permanent injunction to force the School Board to keep the schools open so as not to frustrate the implementation of the desegregation plan.

In 1971, the United States intervened as a plaintiff.

Enforcement Process

The Fifth Circuit had to intervene again in December of 1974 after the district court (Judge Nauman S. Scott) allowed the School Board to provide support for the Evangeline Academy, a private school set up for whites who wanted to avoid the desegregation orders. The Fifth Circuit enjoined the School Board from providing textbooks, transportation or any other public aid to Evangeline Academy. 484 F.2d 649.

The School Board and the plaintiffs have had several other disputes since the mid-1970s. The district court issued consent decrees in 1998 and 2001, pushing the School Board to correct long-standing racial disparities. In September 2003, the National Association of Neighborhood Schools (“NANS”), an organization whose mission is to terminate all federal school desegregation cases, filed a motion to intervene that was denied by the district court. 223 F.R.D. 407. The Fifth Circuit upheld the district court's decision. 132 F. App'x 507.

On November 4, 2004 the district court granted a motion authorizing the School Board to begin school constructions and renovations on a local high school. In 2006, the School Board (with the consent of the Department of Justice), moved to amend the superseding consent decree of 2001. The 2006 order amended the 2001 consent decree to allow inter- and intra-district transfers that are approved by a Transfer Committee composed of three individuals; one of which was to be the Desegregation Compliance Officer, and the remaining two were to be employed at the building principle level or above.

In 2009, the School Board filed a motion to gain unitary status. The Department of Justice filed a motion opposing unitary status but, after the district court ordered settlement talks, the two sides agreed to unitary status on the issues of transportation, extracurricular activities and staff assignment.

On February 15, 2012, the School Board once again made a motion for declaration of unitary status. The Department of Justice did not object to the School Board’s motion for unitary status. On May 16, 2012, the district court granted the School Board’s motion, officially declaring the school system of Evangeline Parish to be unitary and dissolving the ongoing orders. 2012 WL 1833400. The case is now closed.

Available Opinions

Trahan v. Lafayette Parish School Bd., 244 F. Supp. 583 (W.D. La. 1965).
Hall v. St. Helena Parish School Bd., 417 F.2d 801 (5th Cir. 1969).
Jones v. Caddo Parish School Bd. 392 F.2d 721 (5th Cir. 1968).
Conley v. Lake Charles School Bd., 303 F. Supp. 394 (W.D. La. 1969).
Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Bd., 484 F.2d 649 (5th Cir. 1973).
Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Bd., 223 F.R.D. 407 (2004).
Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Bd., 132 F. App'x 507 (2005).
Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Bd., 2012 WL 1833400 (2012).

Alaael-Deen Shilleh - 03/26/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Busing
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Preliminary relief granted
Reporting
Required disclosure
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Buildings
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Education
Funding
Racial segregation
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Transportation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Evangeline Parish School Board
Plaintiff Description African American schoolchildren and United States Department of Justice.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1965 - 2012
Filing Year 1965
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing SD-LA-0037 : Related School Desegregation Cases in the Western District of Louisiana (W.D. La.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
65-11053 (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/29/1998
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
6:65-cv-11053-TLM (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/16/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Order] (348 F.2d 729)
SD-LA-0016-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/22/1965
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (244 F.Supp. 583) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/13/1965
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (355 F.2d 865)
SD-LA-0016-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/26/1966
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (392 F.2d 721)
SD-LA-0016-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/27/1968
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (417 F.2d 801)
SD-LA-0016-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/28/1969
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (303 F.Supp. 394) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/05/1969
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (484 F.2d 649)
SD-LA-0016-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/22/1973
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum for the United States in Opposition
SD-LA-0016-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/01/1973
Source: Papers of Alexander (Sandy) Ross
Correspondence to Court from Defendant (enclosing data related to consent decree) [ECF# 2]
SD-LA-0016-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/14/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Letter to the Court Re: Graham and United States v. Evangeline Parish School Board; Civil Action No. 11,053 (W.D. La) Our File No. OPB-1158 [submitting report] [ECF# 3]
SD-LA-0016-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/26/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Superseding Consent Decree [ECF# 17] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2001
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 45] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/31/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order] (223 F.R.D. 407) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/01/2004
Source: Westlaw
Order [ECF# 170] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/01/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Graham v. Evangeline Parish School Board (132 Fed.Appx. 507)
SD-LA-0016-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/17/2005
Source: Westlaw
Order [ECF# 226] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/13/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order [ECF# 356] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/22/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 370] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment (2012 WL 1833400) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/16/2012
Source: Westlaw
Judgment { In Regards to Motion for Declaration of Unitary Status and to Dismiss} [ECF# 392] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/16/2012
Source: Pro Publica
Judgment [ECF# 392] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0016-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/16/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bell, Griffin Boyette (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0004
Cabot, Ted (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0003
Dawkins, Benjamin Cornwell Jr. (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0005
Garwood, William Lockhart (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0007
Godbold, John Cooper (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0003
Hunter, Edwin Ford Jr. (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0005
Hutcheson, Joseph Chappell Jr. (S.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0010
Ingraham, Joe McDonald (S.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0009
Jones, Edith Hollan (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0007
Melancon, Tucker L. (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0001 | SD-LA-0016-0006 | SD-LA-0016-0008 | SD-LA-0016-0015 | SD-LA-0016-0017 | SD-LA-0016-0019 | SD-LA-0016-0020 | SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-0022 | SD-LA-0016-0023 | SD-LA-0016-9000
Prado, Edward Charles (W.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0007
Putnam, Richard Johnson (W.D. La.) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0002 | SD-LA-0016-0005
Roney, Paul Hitch (FISCR, Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0009
Simpson, John Milton Bryan (S.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0004
Thornberry, William Homer (W.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0011
Tuttle, Elbert Parr (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0004
Whitaker, Samuel Estill () show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0011
Wisdom, John Minor (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0010 | SD-LA-0016-0011
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ashlock, Jules R. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Aucoin, Preston N. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Bell, Murphy W. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Brown, John Robert (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0003 | SD-LA-0016-0009 | SD-LA-0016-0010
Burson, I. Jackson (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Chachkin, Norman J. (New York) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Dorris, Evanjerl (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0015
Flanagan, William J. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0015
Ford, Margrett (New York) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Hebert, Janice E. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0015 | SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Manuel, B.J. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
McGee, Daniel J. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Morial, Ernest N. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0021
Skinner, Michael D. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Soileau, Donald (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Taylor, Lisa M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-9000
Trudeau, A.M. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Tureaud, A. P. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Vincent, Katherine (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-9000
Washington, Donald W. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0021
White, Marion Overton (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-9000 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Coreil, C. Brent (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Demoruelle, John (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Gremillion, Jack P.F. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Hammonds, Robert L. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0013 | SD-LA-0016-0014 | SD-LA-0016-0015 | SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Ieyoub, Richard P. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Kron, Harry Jr. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-9001
Marshall, Franz (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0015 | SD-LA-0016-0021 | SD-LA-0016-9001
Other Lawyers Bork, Robert Heron (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0024
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-LA-0016-0024

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -