ERIC Number: EJ1142760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
When All Faith Was Lost: The Race Riot of 1968 and the Kansas City, Missouri School District
Poos, Bradley W.
American Educational History Journal, v43 n1 p29-40 2016
The year 1968 denotes a particularly salient moment in American history, not least because it marks the year in which the Civil Rights movement lost its charismatic leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. The assassination of King on April 4, 1968, resulted in widespread and spontaneous uprisings across the country, including one in Kansas City. Not surprisingly, the Kansas City riot and the violence that erupted in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination had been simmering for some time, a result of widespread inequality that permeated the social fabric of the community. Nowhere was this institutional inequality and racism as obvious as it was in the schools. Nearly fifty years removed from the riot of 1968, it seems as though Superintendent James Haslett's decision to dismiss requests by black students and parents to close schools on Tuesday April 9th out of respect for Dr. Martin Luther King represented a defining moment. The riot that followed, and the death and destruction it caused, destroyed lives and communities; it also changed the trajectory of the Kansas City, Missouri School District. The district's downward spiral, which ultimately began following the riot of 1968 has continued. Here the author argues that in essence, it was the riot of 1968 and more specifically the district administration's mishandling of the precipitating events that led to the riot, under the administration of Superintendent Haslett which began the undoing of the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Descriptors: Educational History, Race, Violence, Racial Bias, Superintendents, Racial Differences, African American Students, Clergy, Public Officials, Decision Making, Administrator Attitudes, Student Attitudes, Parent Attitudes, School Districts, Homicide, Civil Rights, Social Change, Administrator Role, Disadvantaged Schools, School Segregation, Racial Segregation, High School Students, Activism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri (Kansas City)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A