Why did Little Rock schools close for a year?

Why did Little Rock schools close for a year?

Orval Faubus stopped all of Little Rock, Arkansas's public high schools for a year rather than allow integration to proceed, denying 3,665 black and white students access to public education. Teachers in high school worked in empty classrooms. Some classes were held in churches or community centers and some teachers left the city altogether rather than teach in such conditions.

The crisis began on April 2, 1957, when the first group of nine black teenagers attempted to enter Central High School, which was then the only high school in Little Rock. The students were accompanied by two federal judges who had been appointed to ensure their admission to the school. A mob armed with guns and bombs blocked their way at every turn. One of the boys was beaten so badly that he died later that night. The other eight students were forced to flee their attack on Central High until the following spring, when the Supreme Court issued its decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

During those one terrible year, Little Rock's educational system collapsed as schools closed down and no new ones opened due to the lack of integration. Black students were bussed out of the city and placed in segregated schools across town while their parents looked after them during the day. White students fled the city too, leaving only poor and minority children in the deteriorating public schools.

What was closed during the lost year?

Concerning The Lost Year Governor Orval Faubus shuttered all high schools in Little Rock during the 1958–59 school year, excluding 3,665 black and white students from public education and tying over 200 teachers and administrators to contracts to service empty classrooms. When the courts ordered integration of the schools again, Faubus refused.

Faubus's action caused the first of two major civil rights acts to be passed by Congress: the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations and federal employment; and the Education Amendments of 1958, which provided federal assistance to integrate state institutions like Arkansas's high schools. The governor had broken down racial barriers in the past, but now it was apparent that such efforts would not be tolerated.

Faubus eventually agreed to let the schools open, but only if they were operated under a court-ordered system of desegregation. This agreement was reached after President Eisenhower sent in federal troops to ensure that black students were able to attend the formerly all-white schools. Although Faubus did not agree to the federalization of school systems in Arkansas, he did accept the Supreme Court's decision on June 11, 1959, ending his refusal to integrate the schools.

During the time that the schools were closed, Arkansas's economy suffered as businesses moved out of state or halted expansion plans because of uncertainty about the future of education in Little Rock.

Who was responsible for blocking the Little Rock Nine from attending a desegregated school?

Faubus, Orval The Little Rock Nine were nine African American pupils who attended Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Following their admission came the Little Rock Crisis, in which the kids were first barred from accessing the racially segregated school by Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. Then, after months of protests and rallies led by President Eisenhower, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that segregation at public schools is unconstitutional.

Faubus, an elected official, had refused to honor the court's order. The incident became known as the "Little Rock Boycott." Faubus was eventually arrested for contempt of court but was never prosecuted due to a technical error by the attorney general. After his arrest, Faubus announced that he would not resign his office despite being under no legal obligation to do so. This act made him an international symbol of resistance to integration. In August 1958, the children completed their high school courses with the help of volunteers from outside the city. There were no more incidents after this point except for some small acts of vandalism. The children were able to complete their degrees through out-of-state colleges and universities because Little Rock Central High School has always been open to race students.

None of the adults involved in the case have ever expressed regret for their actions. Faubus died in 1979 without admitting any wrongdoing.

About Article Author

Jefferey Pack

Jefferey Pack is an expert in the field of education. He has experience in both public school teaching as well as private tutoring. Jefferey enjoys helping others, whether it be with their studies or just by being there for them when they need it most.

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