Contributed by Gigimo
Description: White and Colored Schools.Date: October 12 1879
Newspaper published in: Cairo, Illinois
Fortunately for the quiet and good order of our city the "color line," as connected without public schools, was settled many years ago, and nobody, black or white, has felt disposed to unsettle or disturb it. When the writer of this paragraph, then, and still, a very good Democrat, was on the school board, separate accommodations for the black children were provided, and the provision was accepted in the good faith in which it was tendered. But in other portions of the state the black population is becoming ugly and unreasonable. In Jerseyville a separate school, in every respect equal to that of the whites, has been provided for the colored children; but they refused to attend it and clamored for admission to the rooms and seats occupied by the white children. They were refused admission, of course, and an appeal was had to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He decided the matter as it had often been decided before that time, viz: that school officers may establish and maintain separate schools for the blacks, and enforce a classification of colors, provided the schools are equally convenient and present equal accommodations and advantages. Not satisfied with this decision, it is said that the unreasonable and obstreperous Jerseyville darkies will sue out a writ of mandamus to compel the officers to mix the colors in the same buildings. A like state of affairs exists at Quincy, and at other points. When it is remembered that these stubborn and exacting colored people pay less than one-tenth of the cost of the schools that are maintained for the education of their children, their conduct becomes insufferable, and serves to multiply the enemies of the school system. The law provides that no child shall be excluded from the public schools on account of its color; but the right in the directors and teachers to assign that child to a particular room, teacher, building or department is widely recognized, and undeniable.