The Brown decision is one of the most important civil rights cases ever decided by the Supreme Court. The public school system of Topeka, Kansas (like many school systems in the nation) was legally segregated. Linda Brown, a student in an all-black elementary school, brought suit against the Board of Education of Topeka and claimed that racial segregation violated black students' constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. The Supreme Court agreed and struck down racially segregated schools as unconstitutional. In so doing, the court rejected the doctrine of "separate but equal," which had allowed racially segregated facilities to exist as long as "equal" facilities were made available to African-Americans.