Black and white students are in the same public schools for the first time in St. Helena Parish, after officials settled a 36-year-old integration lawsuit, the nation's oldest.
"The biggest problem has been kids not finding their classrooms," said Malcolm Mizell, one of two administrators sharing responsibility for the new consolidated high school, after classes began Friday."It's working smoother than anybody thought it would," agreed Willie Johnson, the other co-supervisor. Mizell was principal at all-white Greensburgh High School and Johnson was principal at Fifth Ward Elementary, a predominantly black school.
Although St. Helena Parish's high school students all are going to class in what used to be Greensburg High, it will be next fall before their classes are integrated, officials said. For this semester, they have the same classmates and teachers they had when the year began.