AMERICANA: Topeka's Secret

Another discrimination suit

Unwelcome fame came to the Topeka, Kans., school board 25 years ago as the defendant in Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed segregated public schools. Now, less than a month before the silver anniversary of that decision, Topekans have learned that their school board has quietly paid $19,500 to settle a discrimination suit brought by a ninth-grade student, Evelyn Johnson, 16.

Topeka's blacks, 16% of a 17,000 total student population, are concentrated in schools on the eastern side of the city. Topeka has no...

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