Kent County school integration

Four years before Brown v. Board of Education, the Kent County School Board built the modern Henry Highland Garnett School for African-American students in Kent County.  It replaced a badly outdated facilities. As throughout the entire Shore, the old school for African-American’s was poorly maintained and supplied. 9

Kent County responded slowly to the Supreme Court order.  In 1954, the School Board said:  “The laws of Maryland specifically provide for segregation in the public schools . . . .  In view of this law requiring segregation, no program of integration can be put into effect until the decision of the Supreme Court becomes final and an effective date is set by the court.10

Because things moved so slowly there, the federal government stepped up pressure and required a formal plan of integration, which was adopted in 1966.  The key part of the plan, which would have resulted in the loss of aid if not implemented, included:

(1) freedom of choice;

(2) elimination of selected grades at the segregated school;

(3) desegregation of school staffs; and

(4) continued progress in the desegregation of transportation.11,12,13  

Finally in 1967, there was full and complete integration in Kent County.  And in 1971, all pupils, regardless of race, reported to the modern high school in Worton.  That facility, a consolidated high school was built so all students from throughout the county, regardless of race, would go to one central school.14

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