Reed v. Rhodes – Cleveland Busing Case

Do you know about the Reed v. Rhodes desegregation and busing case in Cleveland?  This blog post is a great place to start, along with our new display outside the entrance to the law library (pictured below).

The NAACP voiced its objections to the educational system in Cleveland, suing the Cleveland Public Schools and the State of Ohio in 1973.  In Reed v. Rhodes, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants intentionally created and maintained a segregated school system based on race, in violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On August 31, 1976, Judge Frank Battisti held that the State of Ohio and the Cleveland Public Schools intentionally created and maintained a segregated school system, which violated the 14th Amendment rights of Robert Anthony Reed III and other similarly-situated Cleveland school children. Reed v. Rhodes, 422 F. Supp 708, 796-97 (N.D. Ohio 1976), aff’d, 662 F.2d 1219 (6th Cir. 1981).  In response to Judge Battisti’s opinion, the Cleveland Public Schools implemented an integration program, which included cross-town busing and academic improvement requirements.  The Cleveland Public Schools spent the 1980s and 1990s trying to achieve racial integration, and remained under court supervision until July 1, 2000.

Cleveland Memory feature on Reed v. Rhodes