Stratford Magnet marks 55th anniversary of desegregation

Last updated on November 9th, 2018 at 05:22 pm

On the evening of September 29, five individuals were honored for what they did 55 years ago and what they represent today for future generations of students, educators and citizens.

In September of 1963, four 12-year-old girls walked into Stratford High School and, among other things, desegregated a school of over 1,000 students—most of whom were upperclassmen. After walking through a gauntlet of hateful words, signs and actions by adults, each girl was welcomed into the school by a man who would protect them that day and become their champion for years to come.

Pamela Franklin, Brenda Harris Haywood, Beverly Page Ward, and Bernadine Price Rabathaly were seventh graders at the time, and their protector, the late Ronald Jefferson Webb was the assistant principal.

Prior to integration, the schools in Nashville and Davidson County were split into four different systems. There were separate but overlapping districts for Whites and Blacks, both in the city and county.