School continues its combat against segregation

Cole Schnell
Junior Editor

Drama department’s first predominantly African American cast presents “A Raisin in the Sun” in 1969. In a effort to diversify the drama department, Troupe 191 elected its first diversity officer, Trinity Madison in 2017. Photo from WGHS Achieves

In 1956 after Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS, ruling, Douglass High School was closed, and resident black students started at Webster Groves High School in the fall.

Simone Cunningham, academic lab teacher and WGHS alumna, Class of 2007, said, “It was a cultural shock for some of them (Douglass transfer students); some of them still weren’t wanted.”

Brown v. Board of Education stated separate schools for black and white students were unconstitutional.

VICC program, started in 1981, gives city students a chance to transfer to suburban schools and vice-versa in an effort to desegregate.

In November 2016, the VICC program board, which is composed of superintendent of participating schools, voted to extend the program for the last time and end the 36-year-old program in 2024.

Senior Jamie Tabron, VICC transfer student, said the school is “definitely” segregation, but it isn’t “intentional…Segregation now is more so out of habit.”

Tabron said to start to change the climate students have to “get out of the comfort zone of not talking about it…The ones who are suffering, like me, who are uncomfortable everyday.”

Webster Challenge is a program for black students to help them succeed and to close the race achievement gap.

Webster Challenge meets monthly to troubleshoot academic problems, learn study tips, meet with advisors and provide resources. Webster Challenge plans a trip to visit four colleges for any interested students on April 9-10.


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