MD school segregationists: 1954-74
Resistance to the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision outlawing segregation in public schools was limited in Maryland.

Despite some scattered initial incidents, the process went relatively smoothly compared with Virginia where some public school systems shut down rather than integrate.

There were confrontations in Baltimore, Maryland outside Southern High School Oct. 1-4, 1954 and in Rockville, Maryland September 6, 1956.

Montgomery schools did not begin integration until 1956 and took five years before every school was desegregated.

In Baltimore, no redistricting took place—white and black schools were simply opened to integrated enrollment to the small number of students whose parents availed themselves of the opportunity in the fall of 1954.

Similarly, Prince George’s County implemented a so-called “freedom of choice” plan where parents either send children to their currently assigned school or request a transfer to another school.

This plan was in effect for 10 years from 1955-56 school year until the 1964-65 school year. While the number of black students in predominantly white schools increased during this 10 year period, the vast majority of black students went to predominantly or all black schools.

More common in Maryland was a trend over subsequent years of white parents either moving to predominantly white neighborhoods or sending their children to private schools.

Later when the courts found that Maryland schools were still segregated and ordered busing of students in order to achieve equal education, resistance escalated. In both Baltimore City and Prince George’s County mass demonstrations took place.

Beginning in 1972, protests and demonstrations continued In Prince George’s for an extended period. White parents in Prince George’s began a flight out of the county that in turn led to one of the largest majority black jurisdictions in the country with a population of close to 900,000.

In Baltimore, the relatively modest integration plan was initially scrapped after protests by white students and parents also erupted in 1974 in Baltimore. Similar to Prince George’s, white flight turned a majority African American system into a nearly all black system.

Today the disparities in education are not much different than the old "separate but equal" days.
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