Debating the Rule of Law
Take Action! —Thurgood Marshall and the Case Called Brown
1. Although most school districts tried to integrate after the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, many in the South resisted. One of the more famous cases involved Little Rock's Central High School, in which the Arkansas National Guard, under Governor Orval Faubus's orders, blocked the entry of nine black students. Using Integration of Little Rock and Little Rock Central High, research this historic event. What was the rule of law at the time regarding equal educational opportunity? What were the students' attitudes at the time? What might have been some reasons for these attitudes? What implications would you say that societal attitudes have for the success or failure of the rule of law?
2. See the results of the Racial Harmony Survey, and then take it yourself. Do you feel that racism exists today at your school? If so, is it depriving any students of the right to an equal education? Share and discuss your opinions with a diverse group of classmates. Then prepare a joint letter to the school board identifying any racism that you feel exists, explaining how it deprives students of the right to an equal education, and outlining your plan to ensure this right for all students.
3. Thurgood Marshall argued that "separate schools could never be equal. And because separate schools were inherently unequal, they were unconstitutional." Review the Constitutional Amendments. Which one guarantees "equal protection under the laws"? In your own experience, can you think of any situations in which students were denied the right to an equal education not only because of racism but for other reasons, as well? If so, what were some specific ways this right was denied? With other students, create a list titled "Ensuring All Students the Right to an Equal Education." Include every way you can think of to overcome situations in which the right to an equal education is being denied today.
Student Central | Students in Action | Debating the Rule of Law
Deportation Hearings—Should They Be Secret?
*Thurgood Marshall and the Case Called Brown*
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