By: Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons
My Dear Friends,
In case some of you are curious about the beginnings of Carroll High School, this writer, almost eighty-nine years old blessed writer, can supply you with a few answers.
One day, during my “stint” at what was known as Monroe Colored High School presently called J.S. Clark Elementary School, Mr. Henry Carroll, principal, summoned the teaching staff to attend faculty meetings, held as usual, in my uncle’s, head football coach, Mr. James Thomas’ classroom. After our usual prayer, and a few other preliminaries, Mr. Carroll informed us of the plans to build a high school on Renwick street, here in Monroe. Of course, there were many open displays of Joy. However, he warned us of there being evidences of disagreements and hostilities from some members of both white communities in Monroe and West Monroe, with the major objections resounding in West Monroe.
Due to the efforts of our new school superintendent, a very concerned man who did not appear to focus on the color of one’s skin, or hair texture, but one’s drive and capabilities to get the assigned task done and desired, also. He evidently was concerned about suffering humanities.
For example, at the beginning of that particular school term, this writer witnessed a very bold scene from my assigned classroom window whereas Mr. Carroll refused to accept old, dirty, torn, worn out, “marked on” classroom books brought to our schools as usual, by a white female supervisor. I clearly heard him state, “If your white students can no longer use those books, what do you expect us to do with them? We will no longer accept those you have already rejected.” She hurriedly returned to her car and I never saw her again.
Afterwards, we began to receive an abundant new supply of everything one could think of to be used in classrooms. It looked as if we had been shopping at a candy store and told to select as much and whatever we wanted.
Today, it reminds me of my first day at Neville High School during the so-called integration of schools. As mentioned in a previous article, the numbers and qualities of school supplies were indescribable. Those same types, numbers and qualities of supplies began to arrive at Monroe Colored High School.
Mr. Carroll also stated that he had been told to warn us of the possibility of some architectural designs and some supplies to sabotaged by some dissidents. However, they had already begun to hide them upon their arrival in order to become a part of the architectural plans and designs for the new high school.
To our utter dismay, the new superintendent had decided to accept another job at the end of the first semester, and this is why he was hurriedly trying to get as much accomplished of the building of the new school as possible before his departure.
I specifically remember their state fears of abortion of supplies and possible non-fulfillment of precious architectural designs for the science department after his departure at Carroll High School’s campus. Presently, the science building is standing on the Carroll High School’s campus.
My friends, many of you are unknowingly enjoying benefits gained by God and many unknown, unsung heroes and heroines. As Mr. Carroll often said as he opened some of his valuable “auditorium chats”, “there is much suffering in this thing.” Agreed? Agreed!!!!!
Pray my friends! Pray for America!! Only prayer will save us!!!