McDaniel v. Barresi,
402 U.S. 39 (1971)

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U.S. Supreme Court

McDaniel v. Barresi, 402 U.S. 39 (1971)

McDaniel v. Barresi

No. 420

Argued October 13, 1970

Decided April 20, 1971

402 U.S. 39


The Board of Education of Clarke County, Ga. (with a two-to-one white-Negro elementary school system ratio), devised a student assignment plan for desegregating elementary schools which establishes geographic zones drawn to promote desegregation and also provides that pupil in heavily concentrated Negro "pockets" walk or go by bus to schools in other attendance zones. The resulting Negro elementary enrollment ranges from 20% to 40% in all but two schools, where it is 50%. Respondent parents sued to enjoin the plan's operation. The state trial court denied an injunction. The Georgia Supreme Court reversed, holding that the plan violated (1) equal protection because it "[treated] students differently because of their race," and (2) the Civil Rights Act of 1964, because Title IV prohibits a school board from requiring busing to achieve a racial balance.


1. In compliance with its duty to convert to a unitary system, the school board properly took race into account in fixing the attendance lines. P. 402 U. S. 41.

2. Title IV, a direction to federal officials, does not restrict state officials in assigning students within their systems. Pp. 402 U. S. 41-42.

226 Ga. 456, 175 S.E.2d 649, reversed.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Page 402 U. S. 40

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