Kathleen Stake Brose
West Seattle High School
Class of 1975
Kathleen devoted nearly 10 years of her life in an effort to persuade the
Seattle School District to cease using skin color as a determining factor in
decision determining school assignments for schools in the district. In 2006
her case went before the US Supreme Court (Parents vs. The Seattle School
District) and in June 2007 the court agreed that she was right.
Kathleen’s eldest daughter was denied her first 3 choices High Schools of choice and sent across the city to another school. Kathleen took it upon herself to find out why. So against all odds she formed her own 501-(C3) non- profit corporation, Parents Involved in Community Schools (PICS), recruited members from all races, landed a law firm that agreed to provide Pro Bono services and sued the Seattle School District. She put together a website explaining why this action was taken and forced the SSD to temporarily stop using the racial tie breaker in the school assignment formula.
Over the next 5 years the District fought the case. Their attorneys prevailed in lower courts several times but PICS attorneys won key victories as well. When the 9th District Court of the US ruled in favor of the School District, Kathleen appealed to the US Supreme Court. They agreed the case had enough merit to discuss it further, and in December 2006, they heard the case. Kathleen went to Washington, DC to view it and was featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and several other networks. During the 6 year battle in the courts, Kathleen did dozens of TV and radio interviews. During this time she was portrayed as a racist and vilified in the press. She was ostracized and excluded from many events due to her stand that no child or person should be penalized because of the color of their skin.