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Dowell v. Board of Education of Oklahoma City Public Schools is the name given to a series of cases that moved back and forth through the federal courts for more than three decades as Oklahoma schools worked to achieve desegregation to the court's satisfaction. The significance of Dowell is that the Supreme Court upheld the authority and discretion of lower courts to address issues relating to school desegregation. The Court also made clear that desegregation decrees were temporary measures to remedy past discrimination and conveyed that school desegregation was a local concern.

Facts of the Case

Dowell began in 1961 when African American parents and students sued the Board of Education of Oklahoma City to end de jure (purposeful or intentional) segregation. A federal trial court found ...

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