yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Items from the Lexington Progress, 1965-1967

13 Negroes Register for Lexington High But None In County

May 29, 1965
Lexington Progress

Thirteen Negroes registered to attend Lexington High School next term but none registered to attend any other previously all-white county school, figures at the Education Office indicate.

Registration at Montgomery School was about 100 less than the average daily attendance for the all-colored school, however.

The registration was conducted throughout the county on the freedom of choice plan submitted by the Board of Education to Federal Authorities.

Lexington City School has scheduled its registration under the plan for June 4.

There were about 3200 students registering throughout the county, figures showed.

The school mixing was ordered by Federal authorities under Civil Rights laws which cuts off federal funds for schools practicing segregation.

* * * * *

City School Notice

The City Board of Education for the City of Lexington, has complied with Federal law in regard to school desegregation. We will register all other children not previously registered on Friday, June 4, at the Lexington City School. This will include all children, regardless of race, color or national origin. Parents of first graders will be notified of teacher assignments by mail.

S. R. Hay, chairman
City Board of Education

3 Integration Plans Given County Education Board; All City Pupils Go to LCS

February 9, 1967
Lexington Progress

A County Board of Education decision on which of three integration plans to use to bring the Henderson County school system under compliance with civil rights legislation is expected soon, according to Co. Supt. G. Tillman Stewart.

Mr. Stewart said the Board will make a decision after a Washington conference between state officials and federal authorities.

Lexington City School already has received instructions that all children regardless of race, inside the city limits must attend the city school system next term. Principal Paul G. Caywood announced that parents of children who will enter the first grade should call his office immediately and report the child's name. A child must be 6 years of age before Oct. 31. The number is 988-9110.

Lewis Doran, supervisor of the equal education opportunity office in Nashville, a liaison between Washington and the state department, told the County Board one of these plans will have to be followed:

  1. Complete abolishment of the dual systems, meaning the closing of both Montgomery and Park Meal schools. Elementary pupils in grades 1-8 outside the city would attend a county elementary school.
  2. Make a junior high of Montgomery, with Lexington High ninth grade there, along with pupils of the 7th and 8th grade of the city system, pending an agreement between the city and county school systems.
  3. A "freedom of choice" proposal, meaning at least 25% of the colored students in the county must register to attend schools other than Mon\tgomery or Park Meal.

Under all three proposals faculties must be integrated.

These plans, Mr. Doran told the Board, will apply to the 1967-68 term.

Closing Is Scheduled for 3 Negro Schools; Harvest Recess Ended

March 16, 1967
Lexington Progress

The closing of Henderson County's two Negro schools to comply with the federal government's desegregation plans and the abolition of the harvest or "cotton picking" recess was voted last week by the County Board of Education.

To be closed are Montgomery School and Park Meal. Montgomery will be closed at the end of the current term and Park Meal will be closed as soon as space for the additional pupils is available at Bargerton and Beaver schools.

Montgomery has about 170 pupils in high school who will attend Lexington High. There are about 370 in elementary classes who will attend one of the county consolidated schools or Lexington City School. Lexington High has an enrollment now of about 750.

The Board's plan for compliance with desegregation orders calls for integration of faculties on the ratio of Negro students attending that particular school.

The Board adopted a policy regarding non-tenure teachers that spells out that educational qualifications will carry prime consideration.

Park Meal school, in a plant recently constructed, had about 95 pupils. The plant is valued at $40,000-$50,000.

For many years Montgomery has been considered one of the better schools in the state. The plant and equipment has a valuation of about $500,000.

The Board abolished harvest vacation and county schools will begin the new term in late August or early September.

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