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Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) is the U.S. Supreme Court's most significant ruling on equal educational opportunities and race in American history. Brown I served as the catalyst that led to far-reaching changes not only in schooling-culminating with legislative changes safeguarding the educational rights of women and students with disabilities, among others-but also in the area of civil rights.

In Brown I (1954), the Court held that de jure segregation in public schools due solely to race deprived minority children of equal educational opportunities in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On the same day that it announced its judgment in Brown I, the Court struck down segregation in the public schools of Washington, D.C., reasoning that the practice ...

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