COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 91

April 30, 2004

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Commemoration of Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary

 

I would like to call your attention to three resolutions that were passed by the 2004 Virginia General Assembly related to the United States Supreme Courts Brown v. Board of Education decision. Senate Joint Resolution No. 73 designates January 15, 2004, through December 2005, as Brown v. Board of Education Years in Virginia. House Joint Resolution No. 78 and Senate Joint Resolution No. 26 commend the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission for leading the national commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the nations public schools. Copies of both resolutions are available at http://legis.state.va.us/.

 

As we recognize that fifty years ago on May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that State-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th amendment and was therefore unconstitutional, it is important that Virginias students understand the legal implications and legacy of this Supreme Court decision. I encourage all educators to teach about this period in our states history through an array of programs, events, and activities for all age groups.

 

To show the commonwealths historic role in this landmark decision, the 2003 General Assembly enacted Senate Joint Resolution 31, which directed the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission to plan, initiate, coordinate, and implement the Brown v. Board of Education commemorative activities in the commonwealth. The website at http://dls.state.va.us/GROUPS/MLK/Brown_BOE.htm will serve as a resource for educational discussion about this very significant event in American history.

 

If you have questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Beverly Thurston (bthursto@pen.k12.va.us), coordinator for history and social science and international education, Office of Middle Instructional Services, at (804) 225-2893.

 

JLD/yba