Segregation and Alabama’s constitution: Excerpts

Oct 27, 2012, 2:15 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – What the Alabama Constitution says on school segregation:

From 1901 to 1956: “The legislature shall establish, organize, and maintain a liberal system of public schools throughout the state for the benefit of the children thereof between the ages of seven and twenty-one years. … Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.”

1956 Amendment in response to 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning school segregation: “It is the policy of the state of Alabama to foster and promote the education of its citizens in a manner and extent consistent with its available resources, and the willingness and ability of the individual student, but nothing in this Constitution shall be construed as creating or recognizing any right to education or training at public expense, nor as limiting the authority and duty of the legislature, in furthering or providing for education, to require or impose conditions or procedures deemed necessary to the preservation of peace and order. … To avoid confusion and disorder and to promote effective and economical planning for education, the legislature may authorize the parents or guardians of minors, who desire that such minors shall attend schools provided for their own race, to make election to that end, such election to be effective for such period and to such extent as the legislature may provide.”

Deletion proposed in Nov. 6 vote: “To avoid confusion and disorder and to promote effective and economical planning for education, the legislature may authorize the parents or guardians of minors, who desire that such minors shall attend schools provided for their own race, to make election to that end, such election to be effective for such period and to such extent as the legislature may provide.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Segregation and Alabama’s constitution: Excerpts