Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education in Gadsden County

This Monday marks the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the School Board, a landmark decision that changed the face of public schools through desegregation. Schools in Gadsden County are still seeing a decline in enrollment of white students.

Classrooms in Gadsden County schools are primarily made up of African American students. School officials say that was not the case in the 70's. In fact, the NAACP sued the Gadsden County School Board to integrate its schools.

Dr. James Brown, deputy superintendent in Gadsden County, says, "The School Board was forced to desegregate the school and it was at that time that the majority of the whites left the school district.

Now, more than 1,000 students are currently enrolled at East Gadsden High School and only 30 of them are white. White students say they are not at all bothered by the lack of integration in the schools.

Rebecca McKinnie, a junior at East Gadsden High School, says, “There are only one or two that don't like being here and it’s a lot of blacks that don't like us being here and they express it, but I don't have a problem with what color you are as long as we are all right."

"You've got people grown up like that raise like that raised to think a different way and passed on from generation to generation,” says Tim Niederguell, a 10th grade student.

Now this generation is hoping for a change to bring their community and schools together with a simple message.

Allison Nasche, a junior at East Gadsden, says, "Stop looking at the past. Instead of learning from it we're creating it in the opposite manner. Things have happened to people, but if we don't stop looking in the past then we can not recreate the future."

Gadsden County school officials say they've tried to attract more white students to the district, but so far have not been successful.


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