TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – White supremacist groups who plan to protest next month’s dedication of the Brown vs. Board of Education National Historic Site will not be allowed on the property that day, the site superintendent said.
The dedication will be on May 17, the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional.
Site spokeswoman LaTonya Miller said the White Revolution, the White Knights and the Ku Klux Klan are expected to protest the dedication. Only the White Revolution has confirmed its plans.
Site superintendent Stephen E. Adams decided the protesters will not be allowed on the property for the dedication, Miller said. “That is the superintendent’s call,” she added.
The dedication will be at the old Monroe Elementary School, one of the schools for black children that led to the challenge of segregated schools in Topeka. The property now belongs to the federal government and is part of the National Park System.
The Arkansas-based White Revolution said it will demonstrate across the street from the historic site on May 15, along with other “pro-white” organizations. Protesters do not need a permit to protest on the public property across the street.
The White Revolution group’s chairman, Billy Roper, said in a news release that the Brown decision is nothing “to celebrate.” “American school children are less educated today, than their grandparents were 50 years ago,” Roper said.
Police in Topeka are reviewing security measures for the event.
The Monroe school was one of four in Topeka that were set aside for black children. Oliver Brown filed suit after denial of his request that his daughter be allowed to attend an all-white school that was closer to their home.
That lawsuit, along with three similar suits from Delaware, South Carolina and Virginia, resulted in the decision overturning the court’s earlier “separate but equal” doctrine.