The Experiment: 1970—71 Academic Year Teena F. Horn
After Jackson schoolchildren and their families survived the initial shock and meltdown of half a year of chaos in the public school system, we dared to dream that things would improve.
Those of us who were about to be sophomores hoped our educational experience would return to normal. More school district lines were drawn from a federal, not local level. The new lines disregarded the traditional neighborhood school system and the immediate needs of local Jacksonians. Who was to blame for the unprecedented sacrifice and the inconvenience that we children endured in 1970? Was it the Mississippi state government, who was slow to implement national standards? Alternately, was it federal employees Who forced immediate movement without regard to the effect on current individuals — just focusing on statistical black/white ratios and projected long-term hypothetical results? Short notices given before each school year ensured that no one could plan ahead! As resilient young people, we reacted in different ways: some enjoyed the new experiences of seeing new people and places, while others had difficulty with adjustment. There were a good deal of lawsuits and appeals going on that eventually worked into the establishment of the 1970 school year that is now history.