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freemanjud
Posts: 70

Readings: ( I have linked PDFs of these articles in Google classroom, in case you have difficulty getting through the Boston Globe’s fire wall)

Meghan E. Irons, Shelley Murphy, and Jenna Russell, “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus,” Boston Globe, September 6, 2014.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/09/06/bosto...

Farah Stockman, “Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?” Boston Globe, August 9, 2015.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/08/08/did...

Farah Stockman, “How a Standoff Over Schools Changed the Country,” Boston Globe, December 20, 2015.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/201...

Michael Patrick MacDonald, “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation,” Boston Globe, September 2, 2014.

http://www.michaelpatrickmacdonald.com/articles-ba...

“Echoes of Boston’s Busing Crisis,” WGBH, Fall 2014. Students (now adults) reading the essays they wrote while 6th graders in 1974 at the Holmes Elementary School in Dorchester. http://projects.wgbhnews.org/busing-letters/

Matthew Delmont, “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis,” The Atlantic, March 29, 2016.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/...

To understand the effect of the desegregation ruling of 1974 and its effect on the Boston public schools beginning in school year 1974-1975, you have to understand the state of schools in the city prior to 1974 AND to understand the demographic tidal wave that resulted as well.

In 1972, when the Morgan v. Hennigan case, charging that the School Committee had discriminated against their children, was filed in US District Court by black parents, there were 96,000 students in the Boston Public Schools. Approximately 60% of them were white. By 1988, the number of students in the BPS dropped to 57,000. At that time 24% of the students were white, 48% were black, 19% were Hispanic, and 8% were Asian. As of 2018, there are 56,000 students in 125 schools: 14% are white, 34% are black, 42% are Hispanic, 9% are Asian with 1% identifying as other/multiracial.

So to say that there has been a seismic shift in the population of the BPS would be an understatement at best.

In class, we looked in very granular fashion at the incremental steps that led to the busing ruling and then the effects of the busing ruling. And we will be looking at parts of a film created by the Union of Minority Neighborhoods in 2012 about individual experiences during the 1974-1975 school year.

Using these readings as well as the film we looked at in class, weigh in on the following questions (and respond to what previous students in the thread had to say):

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?
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    Regina Phalange
    Posts: 19

    What else can you do?

    I think that desegregation is a “what can you do” type of situation. On the one hand, there were all these reports coming out saying that the majority black schools were underfunded and that the students were not receiving an adequate education. On the other hand, the neighborhoods in Boston were pretty segregated for the most part, which is why the neighborhood schools were segregated. Nevertheless, as shown in the video, when the inadequacy of the black schools were brought before the schools committee, they were unwilling to fix it. So, the argument that you often hear is “just fix the black schools” but when the people in charge were unwilling to do so, what else can you do? Additionally, you can see in the BPS desegregation timeline that there was almost ten years of direct negotiation between the State Board of Education and the Boston Schools committee that produced little to no results in terms of the quality of education. Something even more interesting is that the segregation among the schools increased throughout that time (late 60’s into the early 70’s.) I think that the decision to integrate schools through busing is often portrayed as a rash, off-the-cuff decision, but clearly there was a lot leading up to it, and it was one of the only options left.


    I was reading through the articles, and the one that caught my attention the most was the essays written by students at the Holmes School. For the most part, black and white students alike were content with being at an integrated school, and most commented on the fact that they were getting a good education. While we don’t have their GPA or test scores to prove this, I think that these students experiences are evidence of some of the good that came out of the whole process. Additionally, one of the students commented on Southie High in her essay and seemed to state that the situation there was an extreme compared to the experiences at other high schools. So, I thought that her perspective of it was worth noting.


    Of course, I think that it must have been an extremely frightening situation to have been at Southie High. Even today, Boston neighborhoods are very close knit and territorial, so I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been there that morning. The argument that you hear a lot regarding Southie and forced busing is that it wasn’t about race, it was just about neighborhood schools. But is that was true, why did people write racial slurs on the building, and if that wasn’t the public opinion, why didn’t other people stop them or try to clean it up? While the fight over desegregation was somewhat of a “turf war,” I really don’t believe that it had nothing to do with race.


    In my opinion, the legacy of Boston’s desegregation is, for the most part, invisible. Clearly, it is not something that is talked about very much, as a lot of people in the class said that they had never learned about. It is something that, even today, people try to make excuses about or simply gloss over. One other thing that I noticed is that, currently, some of the neighborhood schools (Dorchester High, West Roxbury High) have failed to stay open. So I wonder how direct the correlation is. Overall, I think that it is really important to learn about it in the way that we are, because when else are you going to have the chance to learn about such an ignored period of time in this amount of detail?


    Avatar
    secretname7
    Posts: 29

    Outcry vs Education

    In Boston, there was much outcry about predominantly “white” schools in “white” areas being better and more advanced. Families of color were outraged by this because their children were not getting the same education and white families were more set up to succeed due to the stronger education. To combat this issue, Judge Garrity decided to implement busing. This solution, was to send buses to areas such as Mattapan and Roxbury and bus students to schools in South Boston, as well as other areas of the city. This was meant to give every student in the Boston Public Schools an equal education. In 1965, there was an order banning segregation in Boston Public Schools and went into effect in during the 1970s. Many people opposed the busing, whose leader was Louise Day Hicks. This led to many revolts and conferences openly fighting the desegregation. Ultimately this led to violence, mainly led by parents. Black students were attacked and threatened by white members of the community daily.

    Personally, I think the goal of giving every student an equal education was a good goal. However, a better solution would have been to give struggling schools more money, to help students succeed. Also when parents complained about not receiving the same education, an alterior solution could have been to do a “teacher lottery” where teachers would be randomized so that the “better” teachers were not all located at one school. Another way to implement an equal education would be to have a curriculum that all the schools followed, and make sure that the students are learning by checking in periodically and being more “hands on”. The change in theory needed to happen because not all students had the same education, but could have been conducted in a way that was safer for the students.

    Going to school from 1974-1975 is almost unimaginable to me. Personally, having a diverse class is great. According to one of the articles, students that they did not mind having a desegregated class. Despite the students openmindedness, parents and other students were outraged. The white protestors would have been intolerable. If I was being attacked just for going to school and getting my education, I don’t know what I would have done. There’s no excuse for the backlash the innocent students got from ROAR and Louise Day Hicks. It would have been so hard to focus on academics with a riot happening outside and it is truly intolerable and non condonable.

    The most visible effects of desegregation in Boston Public Schools is the lottery of schools. While BPS considers area preferences, it is still a possibility that a kid who lives in the North End could go to school in Hyde Park.

    Avatar
    secretname7
    Posts: 29

    Originally posted by Regina Phalange on November 05, 2019 17:23



    Of course, I think that it must have been an extremely frightening situation to have been at Southie High. Even today, Boston neighborhoods are very close knit and territorial, so I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been there that morning. The argument that you hear a lot regarding Southie and forced busing is that it wasn’t about race, it was just about neighborhood schools. But is that was true, why did people write racial slurs on the building, and if that wasn’t the public opinion, why didn’t other people stop them or try to clean it up? While the fight over desegregation was somewhat of a “turf war,” I really don’t believe that it had nothing to do with race.


    In my opinion, the legacy of Boston’s desegregation is, for the most part, invisible. Clearly, it is not something that is talked about very much, as a lot of people in the class said that they had never learned about. It is something that, even today, people try to make excuses about or simply gloss over. One other thing that I noticed is that, currently, some of the neighborhood schools (Dorchester High, West Roxbury High) have failed to stay open. So I wonder how direct the correlation is. Overall, I think that it is really important to learn about it in the way that we are, because when else are you going to have the chance to learn about such an ignored period of time in this amount of detail?




    Good points!!!! I agree that since area preferences are included into deciding schools, segregation exists. Also, sometimes the ISEE isn't as well advertised at the "struggling" school. However, I think in a few generations as long as education is equal (and paid more attention to), schools will become more diverse due to exam schools and everybody receiving an equal education, so everyone can succeed.

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    pannafugo
    Posts: 17

    De facto segregation and Boston

    I went to a private catholic school for kindergarten through sixth grade. The school as a whole had less than 400 students. I could count the number of black students on my fingers. My graduating class had roughly 30 kids. A few were Hispanic and one girl had transferred that year from South Korea. The rest of us were white.


    I did not realize it at the time, but the reason there were an overwhelming number of white students in that school was because their families could afford to attend it. Most students lived in the suburbs, where the school was, or in the more affluent areas of Boston. Boston and its suburbs continue to be very segregated, caused by white flight from areas such as Roxbury and Mattapan, leaving those areas as a majority minority, where other areas like West Roxbury are majority white.


    I believe desegregation was a worthy goal. It is vital that all children have equal access to an adequate education in a well funded school. The problem with desegregation in Boston was the refusal of white people to acknowledge the fact that there was a problem with segregation in BPS. The people of Boston saw segregation and racism as a problem of the south; such things did not, could not possibly exist in the north. But they did. In Farah Stockman’s article “How a Standoff Over Schools Changed the Country,” it is written that “One [white school principal] admitted right away that she did not think that ‘Negroes could learn at the same rate at which white children learn…’”. Racism and segregation was rampant, but it was sneaky and concealed. Instead of de jure segregation, or segregation by law, the north, especially Boston, has de facto segregation, where segregation occurs by fact, in other words, is not required by law, as described in Matthew Delmont’s article “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis”. This is very evident in neighborhoods that are overwhelmingly minority and poor, where other neighborhoods are more affluent and have a larger white population. This was reflected in schools. Schools in more affluent neighborhoods, or with a higher amount of white students, were better funded than schools in poor neighborhoods, where students were usually minorities.

    Busing, in my opinion, is a good idea in theory. The idea of distributing children across schools where they would receive a more equal education to their white peers makes sense. However, I understand some of the backlash. Why would you want your child to go to a school across the city when they could go to a school within walking distance? I do not have any other suggestions on how they could have achieved the goal of desegregation, though. So, do the ends justify the means? In a way, yes, but also no, because of how dividing the issue of busing was for an already divided city.


    It’s hard for me to imagine attending school in such an environment as there was in the 1970s. The tension, protests, and general violence probably would have led me to stay at home, not to protest busing, but so I would be safe. But I think I would try to go to school regardless, because it doesn’t matter what color skin the person next to you in class has, you’re both there to get an education.


    I think the most visible effects of the busing crisis were outlined in Michael Patrick MacDonald’s article about Whitey Bulger. Many of the South Boston kids who dropped out of school because of busing were very poor and found it difficult to get a job. Bulger used this to his advantage and made this group of teens the market where he would sell drugs. The article describes how devastating the effects of this was, how they consider the busing generation a “lost generation” because of the drug usage that led to thousands of deaths. The article also mentions how Southie still has one of the highest rates of suicide and drug overdose in the city. While most of the legacy of the busing crisis gets swept under the rug, this tragic side effect has lingered in a more evident way.


    I agree with Regina Phalange when they commented on how neighborhood schools like West Roxbury High have closed recently. I know several kids who went to West Roxbury High, and it was a majority minority school with many students from low income families as well. It is something worth noting that such a school shut down and all the students had to find new places to go. Could it be tied back to the busing crisis and underfunded schools? I’m not sure, but it’s interesting to think about.

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    shorty123
    Posts: 16

    Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to an equal education

    In Boston at that time, people hardly traveled out of their town. The Black people were heavily in Hyde Park, Roxbury, and Mattapan, while the white people were mostly in southie. Because black schools were incredibly underfunded, it was clear that they were not receiving a fair education in comparison to the white children. Many thought that in order to have equal education for all bussing was needed. In my opinion, bussing was the only proposed idea to get children a “fair” and “equal” education, and black parents specifically felt that this was the only way to make it happen. Desegregation was a worthy goal because segregated schools clearly favored the whites education, but I do believe that they shouldn’t have picked South Boston as a start for bussing. South Boston was known to be very racist and against bussing, so have the start of desegregated schools start in southie was not a smart idea. Judge Garrity implemented bussing between predominantly black and white neighborhoods, but some of the neighborhoods he chose to bus between like southie and Roxbury were very different from one another, which resulted in utter violence especially in Southie.

    I don’t even want to imagine going to school in the time of 1974-1975 because I know the life I would’ve lived would’ve been terribly scary. The violence against black children for wanted the same education was immense and many got injured, and it’s so scary to think that that would’ve been my situation. The violence and hateful remarks from white parents especially would’ve been intolerable because while children are still immature and say stupid things, parents should be the ones to teach their kids equality not hate. Maybe if I went to a school like Holmes that was both black and white with little problems, that would be tolerable. It’s just shocking to me that my city was capable of having racism flow so freely. I did not know a lot about this subject before hearing of it in class which shows that as time has come Boston has tried to erase its racist identity. I think that goal has for the most part been met, but even today in 2019, although it may not be noticeable segregation in schools still exists. Many people in Boston still see Hyde Park and Roxbury as crime filled because mostly black people live there so they won’t enter that part. Because of this a lot of the times the people that attend those neighborhood schools live there. And, even exam schools are less accessible or encouraged for black youth because of the schools they start off in. I think that all schools should be funded equally and treated the same no matter what race amount of a specific race is there. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to an equal education. An important effect of desegregation is the lottery based option when choosing who gets accepted into a school. It is said to be made anonymous which results in many different races in schools, which is best for children so they become more comfortable with everyone around them.

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    shorty123
    Posts: 16

    Originally posted by secretname7 on November 05, 2019 17:37


    The most visible effects of desegregation in Boston Public Schools is the lottery of schools. While BPS considers area preferences, it is still a possibility that a kid who lives in the North End could go to school in Hyde Park.

    I also agree with this statement and I also said that lottery’s implement more diversity in schools. I think that more schools need to begin to do this because it creates fair ness when choosing who gets put in what school. A lot of the times, schools will put a few black people in a school and then call it diverse, but like you said lottery’s are the reason for a lot of diverse schools.

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    DuckBoots
    Posts: 25

    Funding For Future

    The goal of desegregating Boston schools was crucial enough to require drastic measures, but busing was not the solution. The concept of busing was taken without serious consideration for the well being of the students. There would have been conflict no matter what, but school children having rocks thrown at them outside Southie high is inexcusable. Families on both sides being against busing should have caused hesitation, but they plowed on ahead through a path of increased violence and trauma towards the goal. That goal was desegregation. It is truly the noblest goal across the world, and especially in such a "liberal" city like Boston. Learning in a diverse environment was something that shaped who I am, and I miss it so much at BLS.

    I think that busing was the fastest solution to a complex problem. Funding in BPS is completely unequal, and schools with a higher minority population are often in worse conditions than those that are primarily white. Sending kids of color to the white, well-funded schools is not the solution. All schools should be funded enough to have a clean and functional facility with enough supplies for qualified teachers to nurture a learning environment.

    I cannot imagine attending school during this era. I know that whatever school I was assigned to, I would have attended to make a statement and stand by my friends. One of the videos in class mentioned how schools in Dorchester had an easier transition, and my mom insists on constant attendance. I would have not let anything interfere with my education including hot headed protesters.

    Even today, there are very racially unbalanced schools in Boston and their funding reflects that. Especially at the high school level, there are schools worth the investment and "ghetto" or "failure" schools with no future worth investing in. Unfortunately, the statistics of race show lower-achieving schools are filled with more people of color. This is not due to the intelligence of the students, but rather a lack of resources for their learning. If every school was given the equal amount of attention, everyone could succeed.

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    DuckBoots
    Posts: 25

    Originally posted by shorty123 on November 05, 2019 18:57

    In Boston at that time, people hardly traveled out of their town. The Black people were heavily in Hyde Park, Roxbury, and Mattapan, while the white people were mostly in southie. Because black schools were incredibly underfunded, it was clear that they were not receiving a fair education in comparison to the white children. Many thought that in order to have equal education for all bussing was needed. In my opinion, bussing was the only proposed idea to get children a “fair” and “equal” education, and black parents specifically felt that this was the only way to make it happen. Desegregation was a worthy goal because segregated schools clearly favored the whites education, but I do believe that they shouldn’t have picked South Boston as a start for bussing. South Boston was known to be very racist and against bussing, so have the start of desegregated schools start in southie was not a smart idea. Judge Garrity implemented bussing between predominantly black and white neighborhoods, but some of the neighborhoods he chose to bus between like southie and Roxbury were very different from one another, which resulted in utter violence especially in Southie.

    I don’t even want to imagine going to school in the time of 1974-1975 because I know the life I would’ve lived would’ve been terribly scary. The violence against black children for wanted the same education was immense and many got injured, and it’s so scary to think that that would’ve been my situation. The violence and hateful remarks from white parents especially would’ve been intolerable because while children are still immature and say stupid things, parents should be the ones to teach their kids equality not hate. Maybe if I went to a school like Holmes that was both black and white with little problems, that would be tolerable. It’s just shocking to me that my city was capable of having racism flow so freely. I did not know a lot about this subject before hearing of it in class which shows that as time has come Boston has tried to erase its racist identity. I think that goal has for the most part been met, but even today in 2019, although it may not be noticeable segregation in schools still exists. Many people in Boston still see Hyde Park and Roxbury as crime filled because mostly black people live there so they won’t enter that part. Because of this a lot of the times the people that attend those neighborhood schools live there. And, even exam schools are less accessible or encouraged for black youth because of the schools they start off in. I think that all schools should be funded equally and treated the same no matter what race amount of a specific race is there. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to an equal education. An important effect of desegregation is the lottery based option when choosing who gets accepted into a school. It is said to be made anonymous which results in many different races in schools, which is best for children so they become more comfortable with everyone around them.

    I agree with Shorty123's point that Southie was a racist and violent option to start bussing in, but that is what made desegregation there so crucial. As McDonald refelcts, bussing in Southie was a needed shock for the people there stuck in the past. Integration is not going anywhere and everyone needed to accept it. If there were safe schools from desegregation, then segregation will exist everywhere. I do agree that the measuers taken to anticipate the violence in Southie and protect the students were not even close to satisfactory.

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    sea salt
    Posts: 18

    Busing Divided

    It is unarguable that busing left a nasty scar on Boston. Still, it was a noble and necessary cause. Not only were primarily black schools unfunded, but they were also run by racist ideologies. Change needed to happen, but busing was not the answer.

    Judge Garrity and Mayor White were sincere in their efforts - they certainly had hoped for much better results. The city was not ready for this change. “Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?” documents the life of Junior, a black 15-year-old in Maverick, after a white playmate of his throws a Molotov cocktail at his house. He, along with 19 out of 20 black families in Maverick, moved out because of the violence. It is striking because the "Irish and Italian neighbors" whom the had "(grown) up racing and kissing and going to school with" now turned on them. The fear and hate busing created made neighbors turn on neighbors. Batson was the mother and protector of her people, the black community; Hick was the mother and protector of her people, the white community. With such a political divide affecting children directly, tensions were bound to be heated.

    In the 1960s, Boston was less segregated. More children attended Boston Public Schools, and the percentage enrolled reflected the cities demographics. Now more whites go to private schools, and all the best public schools are majority white. Busing failed. The fact that it affected children raised racial tensions; parents care more for their children than anything else. Black parents welcomed white children bused to them to make a smooth transition, whereas white parents harmed black children. Junior said the city had turned somewhat to racial cleansing. Furthermore, black parents found it hard to send their kids to a school where they could get hurt, even though leaders of the community had pushed for busing. Busing angered all sides, and created hate that had not existed on this scale in Boston.

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    sea salt
    Posts: 18

    Originally posted by Regina Phalange on November 05, 2019 17:23

    I think that desegregation is a “what can you do” type of situation. On the one hand, there were all these reports coming out saying that the majority black schools were underfunded and that the students were not receiving an adequate education. On the other hand, the neighborhoods in Boston were pretty segregated for the most part, which is why the neighborhood schools were segregated. Nevertheless, as shown in the video, when the inadequacy of the black schools were brought before the schools committee, they were unwilling to fix it. So, the argument that you often hear is “just fix the black schools” but when the people in charge were unwilling to do so, what else can you do? Additionally, you can see in the BPS desegregation timeline that there was almost ten years of direct negotiation between the State Board of Education and the Boston Schools committee that produced little to no results in terms of the quality of education. Something even more interesting is that the segregation among the schools increased throughout that time (late 60’s into the early 70’s.) I think that the decision to integrate schools through busing is often portrayed as a rash, off-the-cuff decision, but clearly there was a lot leading up to it, and it was one of the only options left.


    I was reading through the articles, and the one that caught my attention the most was the essays written by students at the Holmes School. For the most part, black and white students alike were content with being at an integrated school, and most commented on the fact that they were getting a good education. While we don’t have their GPA or test scores to prove this, I think that these students experiences are evidence of some of the good that came out of the whole process. Additionally, one of the students commented on Southie High in her essay and seemed to state that the situation there was an extreme compared to the experiences at other high schools. So, I thought that her perspective of it was worth noting.


    Of course, I think that it must have been an extremely frightening situation to have been at Southie High. Even today, Boston neighborhoods are very close knit and territorial, so I can't even imagine what it would have been like to have been there that morning. The argument that you hear a lot regarding Southie and forced busing is that it wasn’t about race, it was just about neighborhood schools. But is that was true, why did people write racial slurs on the building, and if that wasn’t the public opinion, why didn’t other people stop them or try to clean it up? While the fight over desegregation was somewhat of a “turf war,” I really don’t believe that it had nothing to do with race.


    In my opinion, the legacy of Boston’s desegregation is, for the most part, invisible. Clearly, it is not something that is talked about very much, as a lot of people in the class said that they had never learned about. It is something that, even today, people try to make excuses about or simply gloss over. One other thing that I noticed is that, currently, some of the neighborhood schools (Dorchester High, West Roxbury High) have failed to stay open. So I wonder how direct the correlation is. Overall, I think that it is really important to learn about it in the way that we are, because when else are you going to have the chance to learn about such an ignored period of time in this amount of detail?


    I agree that desegregation is a "what can you do" kind of question. Because nothing that the black community leaders petition was heard, so the extremes of busing was ordered as the only fix. I guess the lesson is that before things should have been fixed long before Judge Garrity got involved. It's funny because the school board insisted that black school were equal to white schools, then after busing white parents complained because their kids were bused to "inferior" black schools.

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    RedStudent
    Posts: 19

    Busing throughout Boston

    In the end Desegregation justified the means. The goal of busing was to create a more diverse school population which ultimately worked. I do believe that desegregation was a positive goal to begin with but I think there could have been a better way to get there. Parents wanted their children to get a great education but it in the early 70's not every school was equal. Many of the schools that were underperforming were in minority communities. On the other side, many of the schools that were doing well were in mostly white communities. So while Boston and the mayor wanted to create diversity by merging the student bodies from across the city they missed out on one key part of education. Why didn't they focus on the underperforming schools and try to bring them up to the level of the better schools. Desegration would have happened naturally I feel over time. As gentrification occurred and people moved into different areas of the city I believe the schools would have become more diverse on their own. Both with gentrification and with Boston being a welcoming city to immigrants. So I think if the focus was more on making sure each school offerece a quality education thatn the diversity would have come on its own. The money spent on busin could have went to better technology or more teachers or more classrooms.

    I think it would have been very hard to go to school during this time. There was so much tension and riots and as a student that must be really scary. In the end kids just want to go to school and learn. They don't want to wake up every morning scared they will be beat up or worried because cops are standing outside and in schools protecting them.

    I think the most visible affect of desegregation today is the quality of schooling in Boston isn't good. The majority of people that live in the city and can afford it choose to send their kids to private or Catholic school or once their children reach kindergarten they leave Boston and go and live in the suburbs. Another thing that has hurt Boston schools is the creation of charter schools. I think if in the beginning the focus was on improving the overall quality of Boston education then there would be less kids going to private and charter schools and many more families choosing to stay in the city

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    RedStudent
    Posts: 19

    Busing failed?

    Originally posted by sea salt on November 05, 2019 20:38

    It is unarguable that busing left a nasty scar on Boston. Still, it was a noble and necessary cause. Not only were primarily black schools unfunded, but they were also run by racist ideologies. Change needed to happen, but busing was not the answer.

    Judge Garrity and Mayor White were sincere in their efforts - they certainly had hoped for much better results. The city was not ready for this change. “Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?” documents the life of Junior, a black 15-year-old in Maverick, after a white playmate of his throws a Molotov cocktail at his house. He, along with 19 out of 20 black families in Maverick, moved out because of the violence. It is striking because the "Irish and Italian neighbors" whom the had "(grown) up racing and kissing and going to school with" now turned on them. The fear and hate busing created made neighbors turn on neighbors. Batson was the mother and protector of her people, the black community; Hick was the mother and protector of her people, the white community. With such a political divide affecting children directly, tensions were bound to be heated.

    In the 1960s, Boston was less segregated. More children attended Boston Public Schools, and the percentage enrolled reflected the cities demographics. Now more whites go to private schools, and all the best public schools are majority white. Busing failed. The fact that it affected children raised racial tensions; parents care more for their children than anything else. Black parents welcomed white children bused to them to make a smooth transition, whereas white parents harmed black children. Junior said the city had turned somewhat to racial cleansing. Furthermore, black parents found it hard to send their kids to a school where they could get hurt, even though leaders of the community had pushed for busing. Busing angered all sides, and created hate that had not existed on this scale in Boston.

    Post your response here.

    Busing didn't fail if the original goal was to create a more diverse student body. Whether you agree with busing or not, if their sole intention was to create diversity then it worked.

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    clown emoji
    Posts: 31

    Appalling

    I believe that desegregation was a worthy goal, but I think that there were definitely way better ways to deal with it than taking a child out of their own neighborhood, and sending them into a completely new one. I think that today’s BPS lottery for what school you get assigned to is much better, as schools aren’t assigned based on where you live. The segregation problem rooted from the neighborhoods being racially concentrated with one race, which stems from red lining after the depression and overall oppression of POC. To successfully desegregate without anyone getting upset about it, you’d have to change history pretty much. That being said, I believe that the lottery definitely helps with desegregation, but still today we have majority one race schools in the Boston Public School system.


    I think that there were probably other remedies, but one question I have is why couldn’t they just give the underfunded schools more money? Wouldn’t that help the situation, as it would keep the child in the neighborhood and environment they’ve lived their whole life, as well as giving them more resources. The financial disparity was highlighted in The Lasting Legacy of the Busing Crisis, as it read that “Across Boston’s public schools in the 1950s, per-pupil spending averaged $340 for white students compared with only $240 for blacks students.” If this gap was changed and students of color receive the same treatment, would their schools be the same quality as the white ones? Another remedy spoken about in this article was the “Freedom Schools” run by parents and the local community. Although these new community schools seem like a solution to the desegregation crisis, they seem very unsustainable as they’re not funded by the city.


    I think that school would make me feel unsafe to know that a fight could break out any minute. I also would feel unsafe if people were throwing bricks at buses and people, trying to kill children, and racial slurs being aggressively screamed at my peers as they entered. I think there’s nothing completely tolerable about the whole busing crisis, as it was a huge event in Boston’s racist history. The fact that people in my city, literally not even long ago at all, could be so bigoted, racist, and terrifying gives me the chills. It is still incredibly hard to put through my brain that this event is a reality, and that these acts of racism and violence were tolerated and often supported in Boston. It was really interesting to me what the second article said about the social effect the busing crisis had on white people in Boston. It stated that “With busing, Northerners had found a palatable way to oppose desegregation without appealing to the explicitly racist sentiments they preferred to associate with Southerners,” and that “Almost every time, someone has gotten up and called me a ‘racist’ or a ‘bigot.’ But now, all of the sudden, I am no longer a ‘bigot.’ Now I am called ‘the leader of the antibusing effort.’” This event and the tolerance of these racist actions towards the students of color demonstrates that it’s basically normalized to be racist. With that message being spread, it shows how the violence quickly escalated from the whites in Southie.


    The most visible effects of the desegregation era would probably be how BPS got more racially diverse representation on their board. After Hicks, a woman of color was elected president of Boston Public Schools, which gave POC more representation. Regardless though, busing had a lasting negative impact as it made an example for others that racism was okay and tolerated.


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    Originally posted by RedStudent on November 05, 2019 21:11

    I think the most visible affect of desegregation today is the quality of schooling in Boston isn't good. The majority of people that live in the city and can afford it choose to send their kids to private or Catholic school or once their children reach kindergarten they leave Boston and go and live in the suburbs. Another thing that has hurt Boston schools is the creation of charter schools. I think if in the beginning the focus was on improving the overall quality of Boston education then there would be less kids going to private and charter schools and many more families choosing to stay in the city

    I totally agree with RedStudent that the bad quality of Boston public schools is due to the fact of desegregation and busing. One thing that I order though, is did exam schools such as Boston Latin have any affect on this? I know that Boston Latin isn't a charter school, but we do have the BLSA and other funding that's from alumni and not the city. What affect took hold in our school community regarding busing?

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