In the 1960s, most schools in the South were categorized by the federal government as being segregated. Today, over 40 years later, the school district in Cleveland, Mississippi is still categorized as such. With about 3,400 pupils, the student population is 68 percent Black, and 29 percent white, but the two populations rarely mix.
Prior to an order in 1969 in which the Department of Justice instructed the district to integrate the student body, schools to the west of the town’s railroad tracks were white and those to the east were Black. Many of those schools still haven’t been integrated today.
On Tuesday, a Cleveland district judge received an order from the Justice Department to "devise and implement a desegregation plan that will immediately dismantle its one-race schools," writes the Associated Press. However, Jamie Jacks, an attorney for the district, disagrees that the district is doing anything wrong. "Of our 10 schools, we have six that have a significant integrated population,” Jacks told the Associated Press
Thus far, the Department of Justice reports that attempts to work with the school district have been unsuccessful, and now enforcing court-ordered desegregation is now one of its top priorities.