Resource: Avoyelles Parish Public Schools: Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences’ Admission Policies as a Breeding Ground for a Return to Legal Segregation

By: Daisha Latrice Hodges

March 15, 2017


In the landmark decision of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the United States Supreme Court declared that doctrine of “separate but equal” was unconstitutional; however, nearly six decades later schools are divided along racial lines. Avoyelles Parish Public Schools have been under specific order to effectively desegregate its schools and achieve unitary status since 1954. Avoyelles Parish School Board has been placed under three desegregation decrees, the first of which was issued in 1969. Avoyelles Parish has failed to effectively desegregate its schools pursuant to the orders outlined in the desegregation decrees.

The author seeks to uncover how Avoyelles Parish has attempted to circumvent the goals outlined in the desegregation decree by implementing a charter school that admits students by using subjective admission standards. Specifically, Avoyelles Parish has sought to continue the destructive cycle of racial segregation in its schools by applying measures that are designed to limit the number of African-American students that are admitted to the school. For example, Avoyelles Parish has implemented a number of factors (sibling requirement, parent employment) that contribute to the amount of points allocated to certain students. The admission requirements violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because they were designed with the intent of discriminating against a particular class of people and the effect of such policies actually does discriminate against African-American students.

She concludes that for Avoyelles Parish to effectively adhere to the desegregation decree and successfully integrate its schools, the federal government must continue to actively participate in the desegregation process. Additionally, the factors that are used in the admission process must be abolished.