The Desegregation of a Historically Black High School in Jacksonville, Florida
Author(s)Poppell, Judith Bockel
University of North Florida
Dissertations, Academic -- UNF – Education
Academic -- UNF – Doctor of Education
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AbstractThis historical study examines the desegregation of a historically African- American high school during the period between 1965-1975. The Mims v. The Duval County School Board (1971) decision brought about radical changes in the operation of the Duval County Public Schools. The mass transfer of teachers and reassignment of students as a result of the federal judge's order in this case resulted in a school system that was dramatically different from the one that previously existed. The author seeks to determine why the desegregation of William Raines High School was short-lived and questions the continued effort of the school system to desegregate this school. The author conducted a multi-faceted investigation to answer the research questions. Following a case study approach, both archival and oral data were collected and examined. Focused interviews were conducted with former William Raines High School students, faculty and parents. In addition, written documents and local newspaper accounts were studied. The oral interviews support and expand the findings of the archival documents. The findings of the study indicate that the history and traditions at William Raines High School are founded on a strong sense of pride and identity. However, changes in the school over time have resulted in a school that has lost its focus on academic excellence. In order for lasting desegregation to take place, substantive changes will be required. The pride that was the school's legacy must be restored. Excellence in all aspects of school life should be the overarching goal.