In the fall of 1943, Commissioner Stoddard received a petition from the African American residents of the Village of Hillburn for equal educational opportunities for their children. For more than a decade, the parents of African American children in this small New York community had struggled to obtain the same level of educational accommodations as the white children in their village. A redrawing of the district lines in the 1930s placed all but a few African American students in the Brook School which lacked indoor plumbing, a library, and an area for recreation. All of the white students, according to the new district lines, were assigned to the Main School which was newer and furnished with all the modern amenities.
New York State Archives. New York State Education Department. Office of Counsel files of appeals to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Education, and Board of Regents.
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