Opinion - Woolridge


"8. That on or about September 7, 1915, at a regular meeting of the Board of Education, defendant herein, it was voted, 'that on account of the crowded condition of the East Galena School building an additional teacher be employed.' It was also voted at the same meeting that Miss Mildred Grigsby be employed to teach at East Galena at a salary of $30 per month, and at the next regular meeting of the Board the minutes herein referred to were approved.

"9. In accordance with the plan suggested by finding No. 8 herein, Miss Grigsby, a colored woman, who was at the time working as a domestic in the home of the president of the Board of Education and holder of a three years diploma from the Normal Training School of Pittsburg, Kan., under date of July 15, 1915, was employed as teacher for the colored children at a salary of $30 per month, and a room was fitted up on the second floor of said East Galena School building and she was assigned to it as teacher, her work commencing on Monday, September 13, 1915.

"10. On Monday morning, September 13, 1915, in accordance with the former determination of the Board of Education and with its full knowledge and consent, the defendant, R. E. Long, as superintendent of said schools, ordered and directed that all colored children in attendance at the East Galena School building be transferred to the room upstairs to be taught by Miss Grigsby, a colored teacher employed for that purpose.

"11. In accordance with said order all the colored children in said East Galena building, numbering 30, were so transferred to said Miss Grigsby's room, as follows: Primary department, 5; first grade, 3; second grade, 5; third grade, 3; fourth grade, 5; fifth grade, 4; sixth grade, 5. I also find that after the transfer of the colored children to Miss Grigsby, the rooms attended by white children still had more than 40 pupils in each room except one, and that the colored room had only 30.

"12. That thereafter several of the colored children so removed returned to the former rooms where they had previously attended school with the white children, but were not allowed to remain there, and were ordered and directed to return to Miss Grigsby's room, some under penalty of punishment if they refused. I further find that the said colored children had up to the time of their removal obeyed the rules of said school and were not under complaint on account of any misconduct on their part. I further find that after the colored children were refused admission to schools taught by white teachers and attended by white children, about half of them acting on advice of their parents refused to attend Miss Grigsby's school and were on the 17th day of December, 1915, out of school.

"13. No white children attended school in the room taught by Miss Grigsby.

"14. The white and colored children of said East Galena School continued to mingle together and all used the same playground during the intermissions without reference to race or color.

"15. At the time of the removal of the colored children to Miss Grigsby's room there were vacant and unoccupied seats in each of the rooms in said East Galena School building, and I further found on personal inspection that if all enrolled pupils had been present there would, on December 17, 1915, still have been vacant seats in each room, sufficient to have accommodated the colored children taken therefrom. (At the request of the defendants and with the consent of both parties, I visited the East Galena School and inspected the various rooms, and I find that the room to which said colored children were transferred was clean, sanitary and the equal for school purposes of the other rooms in said building, and while the furnishings of said room were a little inferior to the other rooms, they were suficient for the health, comfort and convenience of the pupils.)

"16. I further find that Miss Grigsby is a graduate of the Galena High School class of 1910, and a duly accredited graduate of the Manual Training School at Pittsburg, Kansas, and holder of a diploma from that institution under date of July 15, 1915, and that no complaint was offered among the complainants herein as to her qualifications as a teacher. I further find that she was required to conduct classes in all the studies taught in the primary, first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades, while the white teachers in the same building were required to teach but one grade, except in one or two instances where grades were divided.

"17. I further find that there was no crowded condition in the East Galena schools that warranted the removal of the colored children from the rooms attended by white children and taught by white teachers, and placing them in a separate room by themselves. The president of the Board of Education testified (p. 99 of Record) as follows: 'Q. What class of pupils was the colored teacher employed to teach? A. The colored children.' And Mr. R. E. Long, the superintendent, testified, on page 129 of record, as follows: 'Q. As a matter of fact you divided the East Galena School as to color only, and you simply took them out of the rooms because of their color? A. Yes, sir, I took the colored children out of each of the rooms in the East Galena building and put them in a room by themselves.'

"18. I find that other rooms in the Galena schools had more pupils than are in the East Galena School, and their pupils were not divided or bunched into one room.

"19. I further find that colored children (only a few in number) who attended the Galena public schools in buildings other than the East Galena building, were not separated from the white children but continued to attend with white children taught by white teachers the same as before the 13th day of September, 1915.

"20. I find from all the evidence that the separation of the children of the plaintiffs and those whom the plaintiffs represent, from the white children, on September 13, 1915, and the placing of said children in Miss Grigsby's room where no white children attended and where all grades from primary to sixth grade, inclusive, were taught by said Miss Grigsby, was made on account of the race and color of said children so separated and placed.