A public meeting to discuss matters concerning unitary status, in regard to the Blaine Gilbert v Webster Parish School Board case, has been booked by NAACP President Kenneth Wallace for Monday, February 18 at 6 p.m. at the Minden Civic Center, according to officials at the City of Minden.
Webster Parish School Board Superintendent, Steve Dozier said he was unaware of the meeting
"It was not scheduled by the school board," he said. "I don't know anything about it."
Out of the 12 school board members, only four knew about the upcoming meeting, per phone call conversations. They include board President Johnnye Kennon and board members Frankie Mitchell, Linda Kinsey and Malachi Ridgel.
"We will be trying to discuss and get some insight to the citizens about the court order and how we really feel that it is necessary in Webster Parish and the importance and significance of the court order being kept at this time," Wallace said. "We don't believe anything has been done in good faith. Anyone can come – it's not just for black people, we want the entire community to have an open discussion, if possible. It's a slow process."
Forty-eight years after Blaine Gilbert v Webster Parish School Board, unitary status is still being questioned.
The Webster Parish School Board is under a court order to assign teachers so the ratio teachers in each school would be 64 percent white to 36 percent black.
The landmark decision of Brown v Board of Education of Topeka was reached in 1954, ruling that racial discrimination in education was unconstitutional.
Because little progress was made, on Dec. 8, 1965 Gilbert v WPSB originated when a petition to desegregate the schools was filed. Specific goals and benchmarks were more concretely outlined by the decision of Green v County School Board of New Kent County in 1968.
The Green standards that a school system should attain to reach unitary status are made nonracial and unitary by students, faculty, staff, facilities, transportation and extracurricular activities.