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Integration Changes

Some changes occurred immediately, some took a few years to happen. The biggest change is that almost all black high schools ceased to exist as high schools. Several were maintained as elementaries or junior highs, but a good many - some built in the 1950s - were abandoned completely.

In one case, a school district actually moved white high school children to the black school: Treutlen County. Currently, that is also the case for Baker County, who are in old East Baker school, though part of the reason for that is when Baker County regained its high school after 30 years, their old high school building had been repurposed. Multiple floods made the county courthouse unsafe and the unused old Baker County school has become the new seat of government.

Also, Taliaferro County High remained where it was after integration - in the renamed Murden. Technically, Taliaferro did not integrate in the 1960s and 1970s. All white students transferred out of county or to private schools. Taliaferro County would lose its high school to a collaborative effort with Greene County, located in Greensboro. When it regained a high school, it moved to a completely new building.

Similar was the case of Hancock Central. When integration came, Hancock County maintained both its black school (Central) and a white one (Sparta). Sparta was forced to shut its doors in 197x and a small handful of white students began attending Hancock Central.

This is an incomplete list of the changes that occurred.

Nicknames affected

  • Brooks County (Tigers to Trojans)
  • Brown (Rebels to Jaguars)
  • Crisp County (Rebels to Cougars)
  • Griffin (Eagles to Bears; Fairmont was the Bears)
  • Henry County (Tornadoes to Warhawks)
  • Montgomery County (Rebels to Eagles)
  • Warren County (combined nicknames with Warrenton High & Elementary; Blue Devils and Screaming Eagles became Screaming Devils)

Team colors affected

  • Thomasville (added in the gold from Douglass, changing their colors from red and white to red and gold)

School names affected (white and black schools, even when black school name was maintained for an elementary or junior high)

  • Bibb County (explanation below)
  • Broxton-Mary Hayes (Broxton and Mary Hayes)
  • Central (Talbotton) (Talbot County and Ruth Carter)
  • Clarke Central (Athens and Burney Harris)
  • Coffee (Coffee County and Carver)
  • Lamar County (Milner and Booker)
  • Lincoln County (Lincolnton and Westside)
  • Long County (Ludowici and Walker)
  • McIntosh County Academy (Darien and Todd-Grant)
  • Northwest Laurens (Dudley and Millville)
  • Peach County (Byron, Fort Valley, and Hunt)
  • Quitman County (Georgetown and Kaigler)
  • Southwest Laurens (Cadwell and Mary Fleming)
  • West Laurens (Northwest Laurens and Southwest Laurens)

Bibb County is a special case. Prior to 1970, the system was not only segregated, but the white high schools and junior highs were single-ed. So, the entire county was redistricted and Lanier, Mark Smith, and Willingham (boys) and Lasseter, McEvoy, and Miller (girls) and Peter G. Appling and Ballard-Hudson (black/co-ed) were set up as Central, Northeast and Southwest, using buildings from former schools (the buildings retained their names). The result was a mess that seems to have taken 10+ years to iron out.

Coffee County also had a handful of changes, as noted with Coffee and Broxton-Mary Hayes. Mary Hayes had only been an elementary, but its name was added and stayed with the school until its high school closed in 1990. A hyphenated name would also occur in Ambrose where its two elementaries would briefly become Ambrose-Paulk before reverting back to Ambrose. While Coffee's change seems subtle enough, team colors and nicknames were changed as well. The only Coffee County high school whose name wasn't affected was Nicholls, where there was no black school in the area.

Monticello allegedly was supposed to be affected by integration (with Washington Park) and the school's name to be changed to Jasper County. Local lore says that while the new name was submitted, the GHSA and/or Department of Education never acknowledged it and, thus, they've remained Monticello.