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Highlighting the geography and the natural history are fascinating tales from the state’s colorful past. “Intelligent, readable, informed, informative … covers a tremendous lot of material with a grasp that indicates solid knowledge and research … such an overall and unchauvinistic treatment of physical and natural Texas has long been needed.” John Graves “A splendid tour … this is excellent armchair travel.” Publishers Weekly 64 pages of full-color photographs, 100 drawings, 8 maps, 83/4″ x 103/4″, oversize format. 11111111==1.111.1111. GARNER & SMITH BOOKSTORE 2116 Guadalupe Austin, Texas 78705 Please send Texas Wild at $25.00 per copy. remittance enclosed charge my account Namc Address City Stale Zip Please add appropriate salex tax & 75 J postage per copy. sion, and most of them lie in courtrooms. WISD is being fought in five different state and federal courts by the Houston district, the U.S. Justice Department, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, the Texas Education Agency, Atty. Gen. John Hill, the Houston Teachers Association, HISD trustee William Harwell, and a group of local businessmen and elected officials calling themselves the HISD’s Billy Reagan Coalition to Preserve Houston and HISD. And the Spring Branch district is asking TEA to prevent WISD from incorporating a small tract of undeveloped Spring Branch land Texas law requires that portions of at least two districts be included in any new school district and trustees there have vowed to go to court to preserve their boundaries. Spring Branch fears that any association with WISD would lead to a loss of state funds and accreditation because the statewide desegregation suit, U.S. v. Texas, forbids boundary changes that effectively impede desegregation. Spectre of racism Although Houston and, by extension, Westheimer are under another federal desegregation order and would be excluded from the statewide order, U.S. Dist. Judge William Wayne Justice of Tyler \(who ruled in has told Houston officials he would intervene in the breakaway controversy if he felt he had to. As much as they would like to, Westheimer leaders have been unable to shed the spectre of racism that taints their efforts to set up an independent school system. Lest anyone forget, Reagan and his colleagues do what they can to identify the motive force behind WISD as racism. In court hearings and in a position paper on the proposed breakaway, HISD has emphasized that it was Eckels who fathered the Westheimer district. And it was Eckels, HISD attorneys pointed out in a court hearing last November, who said, “I’m prepared to go to jail before I’ll bus kids from Negro neighborhoods to white neighborhoods and vice versa.” Eckels acknowledged that he “may” have made the statement as Houston school board president when busing plans were proposed for Houston. “Integration has never been an issue in the formation of the WISD,” Eckels said later. HISD, he says is “fighting dirty” in its “attempt to get the courts to throw out the district because it was predominantly white and therefore ‘separatist.’ This was a blatant attempt by the HISD to use the emotionally explosive potential of civil rights to better their own political end.” Still, Westheimer officials have tried quietly to divorce themselves from Eckels. And, to some extent, Eckels \(now a Harris County commissioner known to be considering a race for mayor of HousWestheimer movement since its early days, except for involuntary court appearances. One of WISD’s most effective court strategies was the promise it made last year to cooperate with HISD in carrying out any present or future court-ordered integration plans. That “judicial admission” convinced U.S. Dist. Judge James Noel that the secession was not racially motivated. Noel inherited the “Delores Ross” integration suit which led to HISD’s current desegregation order when Judge Ben Connally died in 1975. HISD, the Justice Department and the two legal defense groups are suing to block WISD under the Delores Ross order. 90 percent white Connally was decidedly tougher on the Westheimer advocates than his successor. In April, 1973, after the State Board of Education overruled education commissioner J. W. Edgar and gave its blessing to WISD, Connally enjoined the district from breaking away for three years, or until circumstances changed enough to convince him that the secession would not retard integration. Connally explained: “The new WISD which presently would be almost 90 percent white, I believe, soon would become almost 100 percent white. Thus the net effect of this action would be to carve out of the area, which the HISD has undertaken to integrate for these many years, an essentially all-white school system. In my judgment, this will have a tendency to attract additional white families presently living in other portions of HISD, and would encourage other areas of HISD composed largely of whites and with presently integrated schools similarly to March 11, 1977 19