MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- 60 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made a decision that opened up school doors to students of all races. On Friday, May 16th, Milwaukee Public Schools celebrated that.
They gathered at the Milwaukee French Immersion School, a school that was formed 35 years ago with the idea of furthering desegregation in the city.
“There are too many schools that are still racially isolated. This school is a very special place,” said Milwaukee Public School District Superintendent Gregory Thornton.
District and school leaders talked about how the decision in Brown V. Board of Education directly impacted their school and their lives.
“That case struck down a notion in this country of separate but equal,” explained Milwaukee NAACP President James Hall.
Lekynik Meyer has seen that evolution take place at Milwaukee French Immersion School, first as a student and now as a teacher.
“As I reflect back and think back to when I was in elementary school here at Milwaukee French Immersion School, I for sure was the minority in the school and then now children of color are actually the majority now,” said Meyer. “It’s amazing to see the differences between then and now and I don’t know I just feel that children are getting a richer experience than I did at the time.”
During the small ceremony at the school, students took the podium, to share why this decision made 60 years ago affects them now:
“What I like about being at a diverse school is that I get to see how people from different backgrounds, learn about their personalities, learn about acceptance,” said a 5th grade student.
“If schools were not integrated I would have never met my best friends,” a student shared.
While accomplishments were celebrated, the school also took time to reflect on the work that still needs to be done.
“So today is my invitation to you, to begin to think differently and begin to talk with our neighbors to talk with our community. That if we are going to change Milwaukee, if we are going to change the world, we certainly need to do that as a collective community working together,” said Thornton.