CONTACT: Zakiya Summers, ACLU of Mississippi, 601-354-3408;

JACKSON, Miss. - The ACLU of Mississippi applauds the federal court’s order to directly address desegregation within the Cleveland School District. According to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, Cleveland “has been running an illegal dual system for its black and white children,” and now must consolidate its middle and high schools.

Brown v. Board of Education outlined the fundamental role that education plays as well as the importance of access to quality education for all young people. The 1954 decision also acknowledged that institutions segregated by race are inherently unequal, and that people of color bear the brunt of the inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities. More than six decades later, many students still attend segregated schools, particularly in the South, due to racial inequalities and discrimination not just in our educational system but a variety of American institutions.

In order for us to ensure quality education for all students, schools cannot remain color blind. School boards, local authorities, and state policymakers must increase investments so that we can achieve better opportunities for youth and their communities.