A history of integration of the Waco public schools : 1954 to the present.
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American public schools were segregated racially in most of the nation for more than a century after the first public school system was established in 1837 in Massachusetts. Desegregation and integration of the public schools nationwide began in 1954 when the United States Supreme Court made its historic decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The process of desegregation in the Waco Independent School District (WISD) actually started in 1963 after many problems and obstacles. By 1968, integration of both teachers and students was virtually completed. Although blacks and Mexican Americans in Waco strongly opposed the WISD's integration plan of 1973, the plan was approved by U.S. District Judge Jack Roberts on 27 July 1973. Dissatisfied with the integration situation and Roberts' order, some blacks and Mexican Americans lodged an appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana. The case was returned to the District Court. As a result, the school integration plan of 1973 remained largely intact. Now, thirty-three years after the Supreme Court's 1954 decision, both de jure and de facto segregation in the Waco schools are issues of the past. The American public schools as a whole are practicing desegregated education. The issue of school integration, though no longer a main civil rights issue, still demands further attention of both the American people and the American government.