Clinton High School (Clinton, Tennessee)

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Clinton High School in Clinton, Tennessee, is the Anderson County, Tennessee, high school that serves students living in and near Clinton, Oliver Springs, and Claxton.

Clinton High School
Clinton High School Dragon
425 Dragon Dr

Coordinates36°05′40″N 84°08′40″W / 36.09448°N 84.14456°W / 36.09448; -84.14456Coordinates: 36°05′40″N 84°08′40″W / 36.09448°N 84.14456°W / 36.09448; -84.14456
TypeComprehensive Public High School
PrincipalDr. Caleb Tipton
Enrollment1,113 (2016-17)[1]
Campus typeMedium Town
Color(s)     and     


1903 Clinton High School was built on the current location of Clinton Middle School.

1916–17 The first basketball teams were formed at Clinton High School (Men's & Women's).

1923–24 The first football team was organized at Clinton High School.

1927 A new high school building, which consolidated CHS with several county schools, was opened at the current location of Clinton Middle School.

1954 Clinton High School first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

1956 See Integration below.

1958 On Sunday, October 5, the school was blown apart by three massive explosions.

1958–60 CHS students were transported to Oak Ridge to continue classes while the school was rebuilt.

1963 Plans were presented to consolidate several elementary schools, create 2 junior high schools, and construct a new Clinton Senior High School for grades 10-12.

1968–69 Clinton Senior High School was completed.

1977 Vocational programs were offered to CSHS students as the Anderson County Center of Occupational Development was opened.

1989 With the new addition of a library, science labs, a cafeteria, and several new classrooms, the 9th grade was moved to CSHS which again became Clinton High School. (Clinton Junior High School and Norwood Junior High School became middle schools.)


These life-size bronze statues of the twelve black students who integrated Clinton High School in 1956 stand outside the former Green McAdoo School in Clinton.

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, federal judge Robert Taylor ordered Clinton High School to desegregate with "all deliberate speed" in the fall of 1956. The integration of Clinton High School was forced to be first among Tennessee public schools. Anti-integration campaigners from inside and outside Clinton protested the decision to integrate the high school (Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol LVI). They were inspired by New Jersey white supremacist John Kasper and Asa Carter both of whom spoke publicly in Clinton on September 1, 1956[2] against the decision to integrate the high school (Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol LVI). After violence was narrowly averted on the lawn of the Anderson County Courthouse on September 1, National Guard troops were called into the city for two months to keep order.[3] The protests resulted in a jury trial for criminal contempt, of which seven of ten defendants were convicted.[4]

The twelve black students who attended Clinton High School that fall became known as the "Clinton 12". On the morning of each school day they walked together down Broad Street from Foley Hill to Clinton High. On the morning of December 4, 1956, Rev. Paul Turner, the white minister of the First Baptist Church, was severely beaten after escorting the twelve students to school.[5] The twelve students were Jo Ann Boyce (née Allen), Bobby Cain, Theresser Caswell, Minnie Ann Jones (née Dickey), Gail Ann Upton (née Epps), Ronald Hayden, William Latham, Alvah J. Lambert (née McSwain), Maurice Soles, Robert Thacker, Regina Smith (née Turner), and Alfred Williams. On February 10, 2006, Williams, Cain, from Foley Hill to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1956 integration.[3] A bronze statue of the "Clinton Twelve" is now displayed outside a newly remodeled front entrance to the former Green McAdoo School, where the twelve students had attended elementary school.[3] In February 2016, Disney Channel and sister network Disney XD aired a short for Black History Month. In the short, Disney star Cameron Boyce, the grandson of Jo Ann Boyce, one of the Clinton 12 students, talked about the school. The short also featured his grandmother, Jo Ann Boyce.

Early in the morning of October 5, 1958, the Clinton High School building was severely damaged by a series of dynamite explosions. An estimated 75 to 100 sticks of dynamite had been placed in three locations in the building. No one was injured, but school officials estimated damages at $300,000.[6] Clinton was once again the focus of attention over a crime that was universally assumed to be related to the school's desegregation. While the school was rebuilt, Clinton High School students were bused to Oak Ridge where the school operated in the recently vacated building that had housed Linden Elementary School. Clinton High School reopened in its own building in 1960.

The documentary The Clinton 12 is a historical review of these events, and was aired widely on PBS in 2008 and 2009. The members of the Clinton 12 were inducted into the Clinton High School Wall of Fame in 2005 (Bobby Cain), 2007 (Gail Ann Epps Upton) and 2010.[7]


Clinton Dragons compete in TSSAA Class AAAA of Region 3 in Football. They compete in Class TSSAA AAA in the following sports:

  • Track and Field
  • Women's Basketball
  • Men's Basketball
  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Volleyball
  • Men's Soccer
  • Women's Soccer
  • Men's Golf
  • Women’s Golf
  • Water Polo
  • Wrestling


The school is also home to a prototype solar-powered classroom called the "Net-Zero Building". The small classroom, built by students under the direction of teacher Riley Sain, allows students to watch movies and more using the power of the sun. The school has also received multiple grants from various organizations, including the TWRA, to remove rip-rap from the creek in front of the school in an effort to return it to its natural state.

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Clinton High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  2. ^ "Integration Troubles". New York Times, September 2, 1956
  3. ^ a b c Fowler, Bob (2006-02-26). "The Ultimate Risk". Knoxville News-Sentinel. Scripps. pp. B1, B4, B5. Archived from the original on 2006-03-22. Retrieved 2006-05-21.
  4. ^ "Surprise Verdict at Knoxville". The News-Palladium. Benton Harbor, Michigan. July 25, 1957. p. 2.
  5. ^ "Clinton Flareups Bring Blunt Federal Warning". The Deseret News (Salt Lake City). December 5, 1956.
  6. ^ "Washington Gets Clinton's Problem". The Tuscaloosa News. October 8, 1958.
  7. ^ "Clinton High School".

External linksEdit