District That Got CA’s 1st School Desegregation Order in 50 Years Is at Center of Racial Inequities Battle in Bay Area Suburb

Students participate in a math class at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Sausalito, Calif. The Sausalito Marin City School District is under a state court order to end the unequal treatment of Bayside MLK students.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Students participate in a math class at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Sausalito, Calif. The Sausalito Marin City School District is under a state court order to end the unequal treatment of Bayside MLK students.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The hillside school with the dreamy view of San Francisco Bay seems to practically shout e pluribus unum. A racially diverse group of children play an afternoon game of capture the flag. Teachers and parents proclaim their inclusivity with lapel buttons: “All cultures. All faiths. All races. All abilities. All gender identities … The future is welcome at Willow Creek Academy.”

The kindergarten-through-eighth-grade campus in Sausalito, which opened in 2001, has won fierce commitment from parents and staff. It has been recognized as one of California’s top charter schools.

But now Willow Creek is at the center of an emotional battle that has brought fresh attention to long-festering racial inequities in liberal Marin County. Last month, the tiny Sausalito Marin City School District was hit with the state’s first school desegregation order in half a century.

The district has just two schools: Willow Creek, with an enrollment of 361, and Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy, a traditional K-8 campus located a little more than a mile away in Marin City, across U.S. 101. Its 104 students are predominantly African American and Latino.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.
Student drawings are on display in a second-grade math class at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Sausalito.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Student drawings are on display in a second-grade math class at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Sausalito.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Students walk across the playground during physical education at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Students walk across the playground during physical education at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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