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Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District (1981) stands out as the culmination of a long-running dispute over setting an appropriate guide for integrating a school system. In this final iteration of the case, a federal trial court ruled that insofar as the school board met the criteria for achieving unitary status with regard to students, because it had been in compliance with its desegregation order since 1971, it was entitled to a release from its desegregation decree.

Facts of the Case

The dispute in Singleton began in 1963, when 10 school-aged children filed suit against their school board, asserting they had been irreparably injured by its failure to maintain unitary or desegregated schools. The plaintiffs alleged that the board ignored precedent from the U.S. Supreme Court ...

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