Woman continues impacting student lives after HPSD integration

Woman continues impacting student lives after HPSD integration

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Dorothy Lucas was one of many in the Hattiesburg Publice School District who helped make a difference in students’ lives.

In the late 1960′s, Lucas and a group of teachers took a test to join a pilot group for the Hattiesburg Public School District that would give teachers the opportunity to teacher in different classrooms. The group was set to integrate black and white students in the 1960s and served as a trial and error process.

“Black teachers went to white schools and white teachers came to black schools,” Lucas said.

Lucas said that most people were scared to be a part of the program, but she said that she had support from friends and family. Dorothy taught 1st grade at Eaton Elementary School. She said that her action back in 1960 will help generations to come.

“Children coming out would have more opportunities to work in these stores, to work in the banks to be the engineer,” Lucas said.

Lucas said vocational classes helped black students because there weren’t many that graduated from college.

“I was thrilled to be able to teach them, to try and make a difference in their life,” Lucas said.

Now, she speaks out about how she plans to influence the next generation through her knowledge and her book called “Memories.”

“I thought that this book would enlighten young children to let them know that you can be successful,” Lucas said.

Principal Charles Brown, Hattiesburg Councilwoman Deborah Delgado, band director Jimmy James and Percy Watson were just a few of the success stories.

“If you stay in school, use your best manners, you can be anything you want to be,” Lucas said.

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