For nearly all of us out there in America, a high school diploma requires graduation from 12th grade.
Twelve grades seems like an arbitrary number.
Into the 1940s, all it took were 11 grades of hassle to earn the tassel. Then Georgia decided to transition.
The 1950s were a time of upheaval in Georgia.
At the beginning of the decade, community schools were widespread, though there was little money and little to offer students beyond the school being local. Consolidations came to improve standards and with them, plenty of protests about the schools leaving the communities.
By the middle of the decade, many of these debates had subsided, with only a few major ones – Tennille’s objection of losing their high school to Sandersville and Oglethorpe versus Montezuma, for example – still on the table.
But there were other crises.
In 1954, Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, was decided. Effectively considered the end of separate but equal racial policies, the battle was just beginning.