Prior to desegregation, separate local schools were maintained for black and white students in Rapides Parish. Peabody was the high school available for African American students in Alexandria while white students attended nearby Bolton High School. Neighboring Pineville, a smaller town located north of Alexandria, across the Red River, hosted a similarly segregated Crepe Myrtle High School with white students attending Pineville High School & Tioga High School; in neighbouring Boyce, Louisiana, to the northwest of Alexandria, black students attended Wettermark High School with white students attending Boyce High School.
During McKay's tenure as principal of Peabody, the federal court mandated changing the school to Peabody Magnet High School with the goal of integrating the public school system in Rapides Parish. Busing was implemented to bring white students to Peabody. To enhance Peabody's ability to attract students, the following courses were added: welding, computer science, nursing, math and Chemistry with college credit as well as an array of honor courses. The Gifted & Talented program was also established at Peabody during this time.
Other articles related to "schools, segregated schools, school":
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“If the women of the United States, with their free schools and all their enlarged liberties, are not superior to women brought up under monarchical forms of government, then there is no good in liberty.”
—Anna Howard Shaw (18471919)