Letter from Koinonia Parents to the School Board,
August 30, 1960
Aug. 30, 1960
State Superintendent of Schools
State Board of Education
Dear Dr. Purcell:
Pursuant to your suggestion in our phone conversation today, I am writing to you to set forth the following facts:
(1) That there are two school systems in this county—the County Board of Education and the City of Americus Board of Education.
(2) That these two systems have an agreement whereby children in one system may be released to the other, and that these children may or may nor be accepted by the other.
(3) That for the coming school year, 31 children from the county system asked to be released in order that they might attend Americus High School, which is part of the city system; that all of these requests were granted by the County Board and all were released to the City Board.
(4) That the City Board of Education accepted all of the children released by the county expect three, namely, Lora Browne, Billy Wittkamper, and Jan Jordan.
(5) That the parents of these children all live at a religious church-community located in Sumter County.
(6) That only children from said religious group were rejected by the City Board, and that all from this group who applied were rejected.
(7) That no reasons were given by the County School Superintendent as to why these three particular children were rejected; he said that his board had given them equal treatment along with all the rest and had therefore released them to the City Board.
(8) That the parents of said children appeared before the City Board and asked that its decision to reject the children be reconsidered.
(9) That the City Board refused to alter its decision, and has not given the parents the basis upon which their children were refused.
(10) Because these children have good scholastic and department records, and because no other basis has been given upon which they have been rejected, we firmly believe that the evidence points to the fact that they have been rejected because of the religious and social beliefs of the church to which their parents belong. If this is true, and we are convinced that it is, then this is a clear denial of the rights guaranteed by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States and should therefore be speedily rectified.
Since our children are not now in school, and because each day’s delay makes it harder