South Oak Cliff High School

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South Oak Cliff High School
3601 South Marsalis Avenue


Coordinates32°41′59″N 96°48′56″W / 32.699627°N 96.815460°W / 32.699627; -96.815460Coordinates: 32°41′59″N 96°48′56″W / 32.699627°N 96.815460°W / 32.699627; -96.815460
TypePublic, Secondary
MottoTo provide academic and social opportunities that will enable students to use a variety technologies, accept and excel in challenging situations, and appreciate individuals of diversity.[1]
School districtDallas Independent School District
PrincipalDr. Willie F. Johnson[1]
Number of students1,305 (2015-16)[2]
Color(s)Old Gold and White[1]
NicknameGolden Bears[1]
Trustee dist. 5, Lew Blackburn[3]
Area  5, Vickie Mitchell[4]

South Oak Cliff High School (colloquially referred to as SOC, pronounced "sock") is a public secondary school located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas (USA). South Oak Cliff High School enrolls students in grades 9-12 and is a part of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD).

The school serves the area of Dallas known as "South Oak Cliff" (generally east of Interstate 35E and south of Illinois Avenue, though the area was never technically part of Oak Cliff); the school also previously had some students who lived in the former Wilmer-Hutchins ISD boundaries. DISD began to take in WHISD-zoned students during the 2005–2006 school year, and at that time the entire Wilmer-Hutchins High School senior class attended South Oak Cliff.

In 2015, the school was rated "Improvement Required" by the Texas Education Agency.[5]


South Oak Cliff opened in 1952 as the first DISD high school to be constructed in almost 15 years (Lincoln High opened in 1939.) The school served developing areas of south and east Oak Cliff. In the first year only a few hundred students enrolled, but the school grew rapidly as new housing developments were completed along Kiest Boulevard and Ledbetter Drive. In the late 1950s, before Kimball and Carter high schools were opened, SOC was one of the largest high schools in the city. For its first 13 years SOC was designated a "white" high school by DISD, but the neighborhoods surrounding the school began to change rapidly to African-American in the early 1960s. Many of the schools that fed into SOC (Holmes and Zumwalt junior high schools and Miller, Stone, Pease, Bushman and Mills elementary schools) were converted to "negro" elementary schools in the late 1960s.

1967-1968 SOC football team
This picture of the 1967-1968 SOC football team illustrates the school's changing demographics

Roosevelt High School was opened in north Oak Cliff 1963 to serve the growing African-American student population, but at the beginning of the 1966-1967 school year, DISD was forced to desegregate its high schools and black students enrolled at SOC for the first time.[citation needed]

Between 1966 and 1970 the student body changed from nearly 100 percent white to almost 100 percent African-American; this type of racial turnover was common in the US during the white flight era of the 1960s, but it was rare to see it happen in such a newly developed area. Most of the homes, businesses and shopping centers in this area of Oak Cliff were less than ten years old when the racial changes began.[citation needed]

After the A. Maceo Smith High School moved in 1989, the attendance boundaries between Smith and South Oak Cliff shifted, with students zoned to Stone Middle School and Zumwalt Middle School, except for students also zoned to Bushman Elementary, moving from SOC to Smith, and students zoned to Storey Middle School, except for those who began their educations at Marshall and Oliver elementaries, would be zoned to SOC.[6]

In 2005, after the closure of the Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District, what would have been the entire senior class of Wilmer-Hutchins High School was sent to South Oak Cliff. SOC and other DISD schools absorbed the remaining WHISD high school students.[7]

In 2011, the district re-opened Wilmer Hutchins and converted A. Maceo Smith into a technology magnet;[8] some former WHISD zones covered by South Oak Cliff were rezoned to Wilmer-Hutchins.[9][10] South Oak Cliff absorbed parts of the former A. Maceo Smith boundary.[11][12]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


The South Oak Cliff Golden Bears compete in the following sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, and Wrestling.[13]


Though no State Championships, South Oak Cliff consistently has one of the nation's most talented teams (currently 17 straight playoff appearances). South Oak Cliff football also ranks #1 for the most NFL alumni of any Texas High School and #10 in the country according to South Oak Cliff Ranks #2 amongst public high schools in the country as all other schools in the top ten, except Susan B Miller in Compton, California, are magnet schools or sports academies that recruit.[14]


South Oak Cliff High School has won six boys' basketball state championships, occurring in 1977, 1992, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

However, the latter four titles have come under suspicion that teachers were (sometimes under pressure) changing the grades of failing players so they could remain eligible for play; the DISD has been conducting internal investigations into the matter, and agreed that three titles (the 2005, 2006, and 2007 titles) should be forfeited. The DISD forfeited the 2006 title in January 2008; the University Interscholastic League (UIL) accepted the forfeit in June 2008;[15] the DISD later forfeited the 2005 title in February 2009; the UIL accepted the forfeit later that month.[16] A formal decision to forfeit the 2007 title has not been made.[17]

The girls' basketball team has won three state championships in 1977, 1980, and 1985.

School uniforms[edit]

SOC has chosen to institute mandatory school uniforms consisting of white, black or gold tops and khaki or black bottoms.[1]

The Texas Education Agency specified that the parents and/or guardians of students zoned to a school with uniforms may apply for a waiver to opt out of the uniform policy so their children do not have to wear the uniform,[18] parents must specify "bona fide" reasons, such as religious reasons or philosophical objections.

Feeder patterns[edit]

Harrell Budd (PK-5), Lisbon (PK-5), Thomas L. Marsalis (PK-5), Clara Oliver (PK-5), Clinton P. Russell (4-5), Erasmo Sequin Community Learning Center (PK-3) and Robert L. Thornton (PK-5) all feed into Boude Storey Middle School, which is the sole middle school that feeds into South Oak Cliff High School.[19]


A 2008 investigation within the Dallas school district's Office of Professional Responsibility found that then-principal Donald Moten as well as other school officials staged cage fights among troubled students, making them fight in a steel utility cage inside a boys locker room;[20][21] the investigation showed that Moten and other employees "knew of the practice, allowed it to go on for a time, and failed to report it".[22][23]

South Oak Cliff High was stripped of its 2006 state basketball championship after investigators determined Moten had coerced teachers into changing athletes' grades. District reports also confirmed unauthorized pep rally fundraisers that Moten used to fund personal gambling trips. Moten had a previous checkered work history at the Dallas Police Department – one that included staging his own kidnapping and the fatal shooting of an elderly crime-watch volunteer. Moten was moved from South Oak Cliff High to Jackson Elementary School in 2006, and resigned from the district in 2008.[24][25]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dallas ISD - General Information, South Oak Cliff High School. Retrieved on September 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "SOUTH OAK CLIFF H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Trustee Archived 2007-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF). Retrieved on 23 March 2007.
  4. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Area Archived 2007-03-15 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF). Retrieved on 23 March 2007.
  5. ^ "2015 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency.
  6. ^ Garcia, Joseph. "DISD BOUNDARY CHANGES OUTLINED." The Dallas Morning News. March 9, 1989. 30A. Retrieved on October 11, 2011..
  7. ^ Gordon, Jennifer. "Wilmer -Hutchins seniors will go to South Oak Cliff High." The Dallas Morning News. Wednesday July 27, 2005. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  8. ^ Hobbs, Tawnell D. "Dallas school district to open 3 Wilmer-Hutchins campuses, close 2 others." The Dallas Morning News. November 24, 2010. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  9. ^ "Fall 2010 South Oak Cliff High School Attendance Zone with Wilmer-Hutchins - Grades 9-12 Archived 2011-02-06 at the Wayback Machine." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  10. ^ "Fall 2011 Wilmer-Hutchins High School Attendance Zone Grades 9-12[permanent dead link]." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  11. ^ "South Oak Cliff High School Attendance Zone Grades 9-12[permanent dead link]." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Fall 2010 A. Maceo Smith High School Attendance Zone with Wilmer-Hutchins - Grades 9-12 Archived 2011-02-06 at the Wayback Machine." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on July 15, 2011.
  13. ^ The Athletics Department
  14. ^ "All High Schools".
  15. ^ "Grading scandal costs S. Oak Cliff second title", The Dallas Morning News, February 20, 2009.
  16. ^ The Dallas Morning News, Sports Briefs section, February 28, 2009.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "404 Error: Content Not Found".
  19. ^ Dallas ISD - 2006 School Feeder Patterns Archived 2007-04-09 at the Wayback Machine - South Oak Cliff High School Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 23 March 2007.
  20. ^ Hobbs, Tawnell D.; Fischer, Kent (March 20, 2009). "DISD South Oak Cliff High". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2009-03-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  21. ^ Kovach, Gretel C. (March 19, 2009). "Report Says Principal Put Students in Cage to Fight". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  22. ^ "Texas High School Staged Cage Fights Between Students, Documents Say". Fox News. March 19, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  23. ^ Another fight club at a Texas school: Dallas staff accused of staging student bare-knuckle fights, Associated Press, March 20, 2009
  24. ^ Ex-principal accused in 'cage fights' involved in fatal shooting, staged own kidnapping as Dallas police officer Archived 2009-03-23 at the Wayback Machine, Dallas Morning News, March 19, 2009
  25. ^ How did the principal behind the 'cage fights' get hired anyway?, Dallas Morning News, March 20, 2009
  26. ^ a b c d e "My High School: South Oak Cliff," The Dallas Morning News sports section online. Cite error: The named reference "dmnsports" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  27. ^ Scott Goldstein, "Hometown cop David Brown is accessible to residents but stern with those under his command", Dallas Morning News, April 1, 2010, updated November 26, 2010.
  28. ^ "Cheryl Hall".
  29. ^ "#52 Ken Smith". San Antonio Express. October 17, 1976. p. 125. Retrieved October 15, 2014 – via access

External links[edit]