Case: Taylor v. Coahoma County School District

2:69-cv-00008 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: Dec. 19, 1969

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on 2/24/1969. It involves the desegregation of the Coahoma County School District, which had previously operated a segregated school system.In a 1970 opinion, Judge Orma R. Smith approved a desegregation plan that required students in grades 1 through 8 to attend neighborhood schools. Students in grades 9 through 12 were assigned to a high school, operated by Coahoma County, or to an ag…

This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on 2/24/1969. It involves the desegregation of the Coahoma County School District, which had previously operated a segregated school system.

In a 1970 opinion, Judge Orma R. Smith approved a desegregation plan that required students in grades 1 through 8 to attend neighborhood schools. Students in grades 9 through 12 were assigned to a high school, operated by Coahoma County, or to an agricultural high school (Aggie High), operated by the Coahoma Junior College. This plan was originally proposed by the U.S. Office of Education's Division of Equal Educational Opportunities and was adopted over a plan created by a court-appointed special master. The court required that students be assigned to either the county high school or Aggie High because in previous years Aggie High was predominantly black and the county high school was predominantly white; thus, allowing students to freely transfer between these schools was contributing to the dual system. 330 F. Supp. 174 (N.D. Miss. 1970). This decision was affirmed by the 5th Circuit the following year. 444 F.2d 221 (5th Cir. 1971) (per curiam).

Coahoma County moved for the court to approve its plan to close one of its schools and dispose of the school's real property in 1972 and the plaintiffs moved for supplementary relief. The district court approved of Coahoma County's plan because it concluded that the individual who wanted to purchase the school property was going to use it as offices for his farming business and was not going to turn the property into a private school. 345 F. Supp. 891 (N.D. Miss. 1972).

In 1977, Coahoma County petitioned the district court to close one of its elementary schools and transfer the students to other schools. Coahoma County cited declining enrollment as the reason for closing the school. The district court, in an unavailable opinion, issued an order permitting the closing of the school. The plaintiffs then appealed. The following year, the 5th Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. The 5th Circuit concluded that there was no reason to believe that closing the elementary school would have a racial impact and doing so would not violate the terms of the desegregation order. 581 F.2d 105 (5th Cir. 1978) (per curiam).

There are no published opinions in this case after 1978. We have a scanned paper docket from the case's start through 1998 which indicates that the court allowed Coahoma County to close and reorganize its schools over the years. We have no electronic docket, so perhaps this case closed at some point. On the other hand, in 2007, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported it as open, and in 2015, Pro Publica reported it as still open. We have no docket after 1998.

Available opinions

Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 330 F. Supp. 174 (N.D. Miss. 1970).

Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 345 F. Supp. 891 (N.D. Miss. 1972).

Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 444 F.2d 221 (5th Cir. 1971) (per curiam)

Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 581 F.2d 105 (5th Cir. 1978) (per curiam)

Summary Authors

Amelia Huckins (3/4/2017)

People


Judge(s)

Clark, Charles (Mississippi)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Nichols, John A. (Alabama)

Roney, Paul Hitch (Florida)

Smith, Orma Rinehart (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Anderson, Rueben V. (Mississippi)

Banks, Fred L. Jr. (Mississippi)

Greenburg, Jack (New York)

Leventhal, Melvyn R. (New York)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Judge(s)

Clark, Charles (Mississippi)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Nichols, John A. (Alabama)

Roney, Paul Hitch (Florida)

Smith, Orma Rinehart (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Anderson, Rueben V. (Mississippi)

Banks, Fred L. Jr. (Mississippi)

Greenburg, Jack (New York)

Leventhal, Melvyn R. (New York)

Nabrit, James M. III (New York)

Shapiro, Jonathan (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Maynard, William H (Mississippi)

Other Attorney(s)

Lacy, Don P (Mississippi)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:69-cv-00008

Docket

Taylor v. The Coahoma County School District

July 14, 1998

July 14, 1998

Docket

00698

Memorandum Opinion

Taylor v. The Coahoma County School District

July 2, 1970

July 2, 1970

Order/Opinion

2:69-cv-00008

Memorandum of Decision

Taylor v. The Coahoma County School District

June 27, 1972

June 27, 1972

Order/Opinion

71-02838

Order

Taylor v. The Coahoma County School District

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Sept. 28, 1978

Sept. 28, 1978

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Aug. 29, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

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Case Details

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 19, 1969

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs were black students and their families residing in Coahoma County, Mississippi.

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Coahoma County School District (Clarksdale, Coahoma), County

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1970 - None

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Student assignment

Issues

General:

Buildings

Disparate Treatment

Education

Language access/needs

Racial segregation

School/University policies

Discrimination-area:

Zoning

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run