Overcrowding and the Racialized Platoon System

The racially segregated school system in New Orleans was unequal and unjust, but just how blatant were the inequalities?

This quote, from a school board meeting held on April 16th, 1951, briefly describes the “platoon system” in place at Negro schools. Due to overcrowding and inadequately allocated resources, these schools operated in shifts, and their students had abbreviated days. As is pointed out in th excerpt, this system was not in place at white schools. Many white schools were underutilized, while the Negro schools were wildly overcrowded.

The school board, however, was hesitant to convert and consolidate white schools in order to provide more adequate resources for black students. In this sense it does not seem that the overcrowding and truncated days at black schools were the results of a school system as a whole not having adequate resources but rather the result of a segregated system which barred black students from accessing many of this system's resources.

Image Source: "Page 102, Apr. 16, 1951." Orleans Parish School Board Minutes, Feb. 27, 1951 - Apr. 16, 1952. Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans, and the LOUISiana Digital Library.

The Platoon System
Overcrowding and the Racialized Platoon System