Learn California.org
Home Visit the Students section Visit the Teachers section Visit the Research California section Visit the Sitemap
Keyword Search

Ward v. Flood, California Supreme Court (1872)
Online Student Instructions 

<-- Go Back


The parents of an eleven-year-old student, Mary Frances Ward, of African descent applied to have their daughter attend the local elementary school, Broadway Grammar School, in San Francisco. The principal, Noah F. Flood, denied her attendance, because there was a separate school provided for colored students. Mary’s parents, A. J. and Harriet Ward, sued various school administrators demanding that she be admitted to the school.

For this classroom activity, there will be at least two teams. The plaintiff’s team or teams will argue for Ward and the defendant’s team or teams for Flood. The team representing Ward should read the Application for Mandate to understand the basis of the lawsuit. The team for Flood should read the Answer of Defendant. Each team should then exchange briefs. Both teams should read the Brief of Plaintiff. As they do this research, they should complete the Court Case Positions - Student Research Form.

After reading and discussing the material, the teams should be ready to argue their cases. After arguing their cases, the teams will hear the original decision of the court and analyze why the California Supreme Court justices made that decision in 1872.

Copyright ©2000-2009 LearnCalifornia.org. All rights reserved.