After 30 years of barring black students from running for class president, a Mississippi public middle school, reversed a Jim Crow era policy today and announced students of all races would be allowed to run for student government.
Students at Nettleton Middle School looking to run for class president, previously needed to maintain a B average, obtain 10 signatures from their classmates – and be white.
Rules issued last week outlined the school's rules for seeking office. Students could run for president, vice president, secretary-treasurer and reporter, but some positions were off-limits depending on race.
In all three grades, only white students could run for president. In eighth grade black students could run for vice president and reporter. In seventh grade blacks could only run for secretary-treasurer, and in sixth grade only for reporter.
There were no assigned positions for students of other races and no mention of students who are mixed race.
The policy, a holdover from late 1960s desegregation orders, is one of several school district policies that smack of Jim Crow, including crowning separate black and white homecoming and prom queens in high school.
After a story ran on ABCNews.com and repeated calls to the school board and administrators, Nettleton superintendent Russell Taylor issued a statement revoking the policy.