In the field of public education the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Therefore, segregation is a deprivation of the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.
By consolidated opinion, the Court reviewed four state cases in which African-American minors sought admission to the public schools of their community on a non-segregated basis. In each instance, they had been denied admission to schools attended by Caucasian children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race. This segregation was alleged to deprive the minors of the equal protection of the laws. In each case, except the Delaware case, the district court denied relief to the minors on the "separate but equal" doctrine announced by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537. The minors contended that the public schools were not equal and could not be made equal, thereby denying them equal protection of the law.
Does the segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprive the children of educational opportunities in violation of the Equal Protection Clause?
The Court held that in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Segregation was a denial of the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.