A school that is an intregal part of American history may soon be gone. The city of Topeka, Kan., has given preliminary approval to demolish Sumner Elementary School, which was at the center of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Citing cost concerns, City Manager Norton Bonaparte said, “We do not take this lightly. It is a historic structure.” Two groups have submitted proposals to preserve the building as a charter school or for housing, but their finances have fallen short. They have five months to turn their plans around.
The Sumner School became famous when Oliver Brown, a black minister, could not enroll his daughter there in 1950. Brown sued the Topeka school district in a case that lead to the Supreme Court 1954 desegregation ruling.