Education Update

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Sacred Heart

Another educational component was added to the mix in 1959 when another parochial elementary school, Sacred Heart, opened in Norco. The school remains open in 2010 serving the children of the church parish as well as students from the region.

Desegregation of Public Schools

In the early 1960s, the parish school system began to plan for desegregation of public schools. The voluntary integration of schools began in 1965–66, but it was not until 1969 that total integration of all schools occurred. Diligent and deliberate preparation by the administrators, faculties, and staffs and the cooperation of the parents and their children facilitated the implementation of integration.

Hahnville Colored High School
A speaker addresses students during ceremonies for the first and last Hahnville Colored High School graduating class in the spring of 1952. Underclass students transferred to Carver High School (Hahnville) in the fall. (Photo courtesy of Carolyn S. Boyd)
Dedication Plaque
Hahnville Colored High School dedication plaque.
Carver High School
Carver High School, 1952 (Source: Graduation invitation courtesy of Connie Robinson)

Years later an incident took place which temporarily threatened the stability of the system. A tragic shooting occurred on the edge of the Destrehan High School campus. One student lost his life, another’s life was changed forever, and the lives of many others were greatly affected by the incident. With time and a concerted effort on the part of the school system and the community, Destrehan High and the rest of the schools of the district resumed orderly operations.

Bethune High School
Bethune High in Norco, 1952 (Source: St. Charles Parish Resources and Facilities publication, 1961)

The schools of St. Charles Parish, whether public, private, or parochial, have enjoyed excellent reputations over the years. Innovative techniques, sound financing, community support, nationally accredited teachers, strong administrators, as well as parents and students who are engaged in the learning process have all contributed to their success.

Although limited high school classes were offered for African American students as early as 1947 (west bank only), it was not until the fall of 1952 that new comprehensive high schools were opened on each side of the Mississippi River. Further changes came with the desegregation of schools.

Don Raymond
Don Raymond, an outstanding student athlete, transferred to Hahnville High School from Carver High in the ninth grade through the “freedom of choice” option. He lettered in four sports and was on the 1968 Class AA football team. His life was cut tragically short due to injuries received in a traffic collision on the River Road in Hahnville. Out of respect for his achievements as an individual, a student, and an athlete, each year the Don Raymond Track and Field Relays are held at Hahnville High School in his honor.

This text is copyright © material by Marilyn Richoux, Joan Becnel and Suzanne Friloux, from St. Charles Parish, Louisiana: A Pictorial History, 2010.

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