posts 16 - 29 of 29
freud
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 28

Originally posted by Bumble Bee on October 24, 2021 14:47


Clearly desegregation was necessary to end racial prejudices in Boston. Instead of uprooting tons of kids from their neighborhood they could've first made sure that all the schools had equal resources. If all schools were equal then parents might not have been as mad about sending their kids to a different school.

I wrote about this in my post as well, and I think it's really important to consider. This kind of falls into the category of, "separate but equal," (if the kids are not bused.) When thinking about what solutions would have actually helped this problem it's so difficult because it seems like any of them would still have resulted in the abuse of black children. Would separate but equal have been better? Would it have been just the first step before schools were more integrated? These are all important questions and I honestly do not know what would have been a better solution.

hisoka
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 23

Originally posted by giraffes12 on October 22, 2021 08:52

The ends (ending segregation) were incredibly important. The school system was highly segregated and Boston officials were ignoring the issue. Busing did seem to help segregation itself, but created much more resentment and anger against Black people and children. It also created a lot of danger for them. A lot of them weren't comfortable being driven to school by all white drivers, and being escorted in by only white police officers, which I think is completely valid. I think it would have been better to desegregate a little slower, so that people weren't as angry and violent. Desegregation is a worthy goal, however. Desegregation is very important for children, because they will grow up with diversity. Growing up with diversity is one of the most important things in education, so that kids grow up with less bias against people who don't look like them. Especially white bias against Black people. Change absolutely needed to happen in BPS, but I think the way that they went about it was very dangerous to Black children. Those who were bused to South Boston were in constant danger of white parents and of white kids. Also, some of the poorer children in South Boston were affected by busing as well. Whitey Bulger took advantage of it to sell drugs to more kids, and many got addicted to drugs and even died. I can imagine that going to school back then would be very intolerable. The amount of racism was skyrocketing. The Black children must have had to endure so much, even more than they do now; even though today, BPS is still very segregated and there are many instances of racism and microaggressions. A huge effect that we see from Boston desegregating is how white the private schools are. When the public schools desegregated, many richer white parents sent their kids to private schools. Today, private schools in Boston are still mostly white. We can see that the public schools are more diverse than they were, but many are still not very diverse, like BLS.

I agree that desegregation was needed so children can grow un in diverse environments and not have a racial bias. And also on the fact that the forced busing out black student in unnecessary dangerous situations.

Nightshade
Posts: 26

Boston Busing and Desegregation

“The ends justify the means” isn’t a term I would use to describe busing. Desegregation is a worthy cause and an important goal. It’s laudable that so many black families came together to improve their children’s education and the disturbing separation of races in the Boston public school system. However, the students who were bused to a different school, specifically black students, were put at risk. We learned in “Eyes on the Prize” white adults and students threw rocks at little children on the bus, which is a terrible image to picture. Not to mention the fact that white students in Southie who dropped out of school ended up on the streets, as we learned in Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation. At first, busing was a good idea -- if white families and politicians with students in good schools were ignoring predominantly black schools, it makes sense to think that busing white and black students to other schools would make these families and politicians prioritize ALL the schools. The second children are being threatened and physically hurt, though, that’s when it’s time to rethink this solution. Racism and aggression from white families is the cause of this, yes, but that doesn’t make it okay to put students on the frontline of this fight.

Change did need to happen in Boston Public Schools. Desegregation is important and would help to battle implicit and internalized racism among youth. I hate to think that the only solution to school segregation was to put children in harm’s way, though. There must have been other options. Requiring not only equal but equitable funding for all schools would be the first step, regardless of race within the schools. Desegregation would be a longer process. I want to say doing it more slowly would be more effective and safe, but we learned from the story of Ruby Bridges that this isn’t necessarily true. It’s awful that the racism in Boston and obviously throughout the U.S. was so intense that white families would take their students out of school, disrupting their education, just so they wouldn’t need to sit next to a black student. In fact, busing seems like it really worsened the racial climate in Boston. Black children who got along really well with white children suddenly found themselves as victims of hate crimes by white people who they used to consider close friends, as we saw in Did Busing Slow Boston’s Desegregation?.

I can’t imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975. If I were placed in a situation like that, I would stay home. Not because I wouldn’t want to be with black students, but because of the violent environment surrounding the crisis. It would be terrifying to me, and I don’t know how this was tolerable for any of the students, or why parents put their children at risk and, in many cases of white families, encouraged their children to participate in the violence.

Because many people consider the busing crisis a failure, it seems like the concept of desegregation is considered a failure as well. Schools are still segregated today. It’s not as intensely segregated as it was in the 1970’s, but it’s definitely visible. Schools with predominantly black students get less funding in general. Southie is still considered an area of racist white people, and many needs of children are still not met by politicians. Neighborhoods are also still widely segregated in Boston. Politicians continue their trend of supporting and funding predominantly white spaces while ignoring the spaces of black people and other people of color, from schools, to neighborhoods, to general needs.

Nightshade
Posts: 26

Originally posted by freud on October 24, 2021 19:33

Originally posted by Bumble Bee on October 24, 2021 14:47


Clearly desegregation was necessary to end racial prejudices in Boston. Instead of uprooting tons of kids from their neighborhood they could've first made sure that all the schools had equal resources. If all schools were equal then parents might not have been as mad about sending their kids to a different school.

I wrote about this in my post as well, and I think it's really important to consider. This kind of falls into the category of, "separate but equal," (if the kids are not bused.) When thinking about what solutions would have actually helped this problem it's so difficult because it seems like any of them would still have resulted in the abuse of black children. Would separate but equal have been better? Would it have been just the first step before schools were more integrated? These are all important questions and I honestly do not know what would have been a better solution.

I've been thinking about these questions, too. Desegregation is definitely a necessary step in ending racial hatred, but how could it possibly have been done in a way that didn't put black people at risk or even worsen the racial climate? I agree that at first focusing on the funding of schools and then focusing on desegregation would have been a smarter way to act. However, I'm wracking my brain for answers about how desegregation could been achieved with a smooth, peaceful transition when Boston families were so violently racist, and I'm coming up empty. How can we further desegregation in Boston without displacing families or creating more hatred against people of color?

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Boston, Race, Redlining, and Desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

In my opinion, the idea of desegregation within schools nowhere near justified the busing laws, and the un-thought of reactions from families in South Boston. This is a tricky question though, because desegregation in schools needed to be ended, but how would this be possible, if a radical decision like the busing wasn't made? Although the busing had good intentions, it only resulted in more segregation and racism within the city of Boston, as well as a new fear held by Black families. They shouldn't have had to decide to send their children to a school with no supplies nor resources, or send their kids to a better school, but one with a large risk of harm, committed not just by students, but parents as well.

Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal, and in my opinion, anyone who believes otherwise is flat out racist. The contrast between schools in South Boston and schools in Roxbury was absurd, the amount of resources, space, opportunities, and teachers. But like I said earlier, what would be a smart way to try and further limit desegregation, without putting thousands of children at harm's risk? How can ending desegregation be safe in a city, a nation, that is built on systematic racism, especially one where citizens are ignorant enough to ignore that it even exists?

Change 100% needed to be made within Boston schools, and I say that with complete certainty. The Bostonians who argued that there was no inequality of resources within the schools would never have been able to experience the other point of view of it, unless they magically became Black, or were willing-which future generations know they were not-to send their children to predominately Black schools. Any white person who can confidently say that there was no difference between schools in Roxbury and Southie is completely ignorant, was raised ignorant, and would always be ignorant.

I cannot at all imagine going to school in Boston in that time period nor that environment. Even if I were to try and imagine, or make up a scenario where I did attend school in '74-'75, it would be nowhere near what it was really like. But what would have been tolerable? I think one thing that could have possibly been seen as a 'pro' when it came to busing was open-minded students being able to experience a new community and environment. Even though Boston is a small city, due to its segregation then, and even still now, it can feel like multiple. The things that would have been intolerable are obviously the hate crimes and actions committed not just by white students, but as well as white parents. Grown adults seemed to have no issue harming children simply because of their skin color, and a situation that they had no control over.

I believe the most visible effects of the desegregation era are seen today in the exam schools, and this is for two main reasons. The first is Boston Latin School is seen as the 'hardest', and 'smartest' of the three schools, and the O'Bryant is seen as the 'easiest to get in to'. It isn't a coincidence that Boston Latin School is also predominantly White, whereas the OB has the lowest population of white students out of the three. The second reason is something that happened within the past year. Because of COVID, Boston had to come up with a new way of accepting children into the schools. Instead of a big test, kids were accepted based on grades and teacher's reccomendations, and each neighborhood got a certain amount of spots. This enabled more students in predomintately Black neighborhoods to be able to attend an exam school, but also limited the amount of students from Westie, Southie, or other neighborhoods of the sorts from going. When this new system was put in place, white parents revolted against it, carrying signs and protesting because it didn't seem 'fair' for their children. Seem familiar?

turtle17
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

Originally posted by gato927 on October 21, 2021 13:05

  • In a way, I think desegregation did justify busing. It was an important change made in Boston, but it benefited the community for the better. It must have been hard on the black students though. They would be attacked for just trying to go to school and get a good education, and this probably affected them a lot. In the article “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation” it explains how many white students dropped out of school, and got addicted to drugs, and most eventually died because of this. It is sad to think that people would rather throw their lives away than attend a desegregated school.

Although I understand where you are coming from, I am going to have to respectfully disagree. Although some can argue that busing may have had long term positive impacts, it only magnified the hidden racism within Boston. Black Children were scarred and traumatized for life, over something that they had no say in. I believe the only important change that busing made in Boston was demonstrate all the faults and racism within the city that needed to be fixed.

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

Originally posted by flowerpower on October 22, 2021 07:03

I'm not sure if the ends justify the means because the means were not the best option they could've been. Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal because integration is key to eliminating racial biases in our society. The desegregation of schools and access to equal quality of education are necessary for the success of students anywhere. Busing was not the best solution for this goal, taking kids away from the comfort of their neighborhoods and placing them in extremely hostile environments does not lead to a quality education. The city could've focused on resolving the root of the issues, why boston was so segregated between neighborhoods, a mostly black roxbury mostly white southie etc. Desegregating Boston as a whole would eventually lead to diverse school environments in which children could be successful. We know from a previous discussion that students in more diverse schools seem more hopeful about the relationship between black and white people. Boston is a city with plenty of racism and positive interracial interactions from an early age, in classrooms, are important to teaching children anti-racism. Going to school during this time would've been difficult and distracted. The tensions between students with each other and with teachers would create a bad learning environment. It may be difficult to get yourself out of the house to school knowing what you would be facing everyday, and it would be difficult to focus in class with people outside of your protesting. One effect busing had was the lost generation of kids (mostly white) who dropped out of school to protest busing. This turned over a large amount of youth to the hands of whitey bulger and drugs.

I agree with your point about focusing on why Boston was already racially segregated by neighborhood. A lot of the school segregation in the city was a result of neighborhood segregation which came from redlining and other housing restrictions/inequities. If we want to improve school diversity we also have to look at housing segregation.

dinonuggets
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

Race, Redlining, and Desegregation

In hindsight, busing was more harmful than it was beneficial. It exacerbated tensions and violence between white and black people and the reaction from white parents was especially astounding. It creating an unsafe environment for black students at school. Kids on the buses were traumatized from attacks. Busing was a cause of white flight, where white parents left Boston to put their kids in suburban schools. It did not address the real issue within Boston public schools which was unequal distribution of resources between majority black and white schools. Busing itself is not an inherently bad or evil thing, it just faced severe backlash in this instance and caused more problems.

Desegregation was a worthy goal because there were disparities between majority white and black schools. Majority black schools were overcrowded and not getting enough resources to support students’ learning. There was also the ideology among many white people that black kids simply couldn't learn as much or as well as white kids. It seemed like sending some kids from underprivileged schools to schools with more resources (and vice versa) would fix the problem of unequal educations. In one of the Boston Globe articles Batson said that the kind of integration Batson wanted was black students having access to the same schools white kids went to, not necessarily just having them sit together side by side. This brings up the ideas of separation and segregation. I feel like this specific idea of desegregation would not have been necessary if majority black schools got the resources they needed. The kids there would have been able to go to school in a community they felt safe in, and unfortunately busing did the opposite for some. Having said this, there are benefits to desegregation. Segregation is harmful because people aren’t surrounded by those with different experiences and it is easier to form biases. If schools were more diverse, kids would be more accepting of each others’ differences.

Change did need to happen within BPS because black schools were clearly not getting the resources they needed. The problem lay within the disparities between black and white schools. Busing did not actually address the root of these issues. Kids who were still going to school in Roxbury or bused from Southie were not getting a better education because nothing about the distribution of resources changed. Busing was probably the easiest solution that the government could implement when adequate funding for black schools would have been more beneficial.

Going to school in Boston from 1974-1975 would have been uneasy and frightening. As a non-black person I wouldn't have directly experienced any of the violence or harassment that black kids faced, so I still could have gone to school without feeling like I was going to be attacked. I would have felt so much anger and resentment at the white parents and kids creating such an unsafe environment for kids of color. If I expressed my opposition to these white protesters I probably would have been harassed in some way because I was a non-black person disagreeing with whites. As someone who is mixed race, it is a little more difficult imagining myself in this situation.

I think the racial demographics of BPS today reflect a lot of the white flight that happened during and after the desegregation era. The total number of BPS students dropped from 96,000 to 57,000 between 1972-1978 and the number of white students within these schools also dropped. Today the majority of students within BPS are black and brown, unlike in 1972 when they were mostly white. However many of Boston’s schools are still racially segregated and demographics within these schools do not reflect those of the city.

eac
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

Desegregation was absolutely a worthy goal. The education system was in no ways equal, funding was not distributed evenly between the schools. African American schools would graduate school and it would be as if they were completely uneducated. However, I'm not quite sure if the ends justified the means. It was a stressful and violent time that distracted from the goal of equal education. The abundant hatred only increased, and busing failed to change the systemic issues that existed within the different neighborhoods of Boston. However, the ends were mostly met, funding and thus educational quality became more equal throughout the school system. Change absolutely needed to occur within BPS, there was a committee hostile to any sort of change as African American students were struggling without supplies and graduation with only shambles of an education. Since I technically live in Roxbury (my house is situated on the border, most of the house is in JP but the front and entrance is in Roxbury), I'd likely not be bussed across the city, so I'd be going through less of the problems that, say, my neighbors might be going through. I'd probably be one of the least affected kids in Boston. I would be worried about the ongoing violence in the city, but ultimately it would affect me less than most. Boston overall is still quite the segregated city, but improvements were made during this process, and hopefully the process can continue.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Boston, race, redlining and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

  • I believe that the intention behind busing (desegregation in Boston schools) was justified. The intention to end segregation in Boston schools by opening school doors to kids from different parts of Boston had some good ideas backing it. For example, children of color were not being given an equal education as white children, therefore, bussing students of color to these other schools with better resources and funding could have benefitted their education. Also, as proven in the monumental case of Brown v. Board of Education, it is necessary for children to grow up and learn in a desegregated environment. Although the intention behind bussing can be justified, its outcomes can not. As Michael Patrick MacDonald writes in “Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation,” the violence in parts of Boston such as South Boston and Roxbury were declared “death zones” because of the increase in drug overdose and gun violence. The violence from parents and children in the form of rioting, stabbing, fist-fighting, and more shows just how little the children’s safety---specifically the black children’s safety---was taken into consideration. This was made apparent to me while reading “Did busing slow Boston’s desegregation?” from the Boston Globe. I was extremely disheartened to read about how Junior had not only lost a close friend, but also been a victim of a hate crime by that same friend due to bussing. Like @runningdog96 said, implementing programs to desegregate neighborhoods while simultaneously desegregating schools, could have helped prevent a lot of violence.
  • I believe desegregation was a worthy goal, and still is. In, “Did busing slow Boston’s desegregation?” Stockman mentions how 48% of black people “don’t believe they’ll achieve racial equality in their lifetime, or ever.” This is a problem not only in Boston, but around the country, that is far from over. Racial equality in the form of desegregation is something that we, as a community, should always be working toward. As described in Delmont’s “The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis,” activists like Batson have continued to fight for future generations, so it is only fitting that we help continue in their fight.
  • Change did need to happen in the Boston Public Schools as the inequalities in predominantly black schools and predominantly white schools were becoming more aware. The lack of diversity, resources, funding, teachers, and more was detrimental to the young students. Other solutions like working in the neighborhoods as well could have helped this effort, but bussing was most likely seen as “easiest” to the government and school committee.
  • None of the racist violence, words, or protests are tolerable. None of the disparities in black and white schools are tolerable. This situation is not tolerable. As a student this must’ve been a really scary time with parents rioting in front of schools and children fighting because they felt that they were unsafe in the very place they were supposed to be receiving an education.

  • I see the demographics of BPS and BLS as the most visible effect today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975. The racial and ethnic demographics of BPS are not accurately depicted in BLS. This is a direct effect of the desegregation era and as @etherealfrog writes, this is known as the “white flight” in Boston. This past year, many parents were pulling their kids out of BPS schools or moving out of Boston because of the new exam school process based on zip codes. This is just one of the many examples of the lingering racism in Boston schools from the desegregation era.
mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Originally posted by etherealfrog on October 24, 2021 13:23

I think the intended goal may have justified the means, but in practice, busing caused many problems that we are still dealing with today. Many of these problems did not stem directly from busing, but from parents’ reactions to busing, especially white parents. It created an atmosphere of hatred and fear. In the Globe article “History Rolled in on a Yellow School Bus”, there were many accounts of white parents in Southie being afraid to send their children to school in Roxbury, and these are the some of the same parents involved in the protests and violence against Black students entering South Boston High School. However, I’m not sure that a different solution would have changed these people’s attitudes, because if sending their kids to Roxbury could provoke them to attack innocent children with racial slurs and throw rocks at school buses, it seems unlikely that their attitudes on race and desegregation would be different with a different solution. Ultimately, it’s hard to say whether the ends justified the means, but the means (busing) did not justify the reaction that was elicited from the community.


Desegregating BPS was absolutely a worthy goal— it would have been completely unsustainable to continue to allow for such a gross imbalance in resources, funding, and quality of education in majority white versus majority Black schools, and the lack of diversity was harmful to everyone involved. However, busing also causes many problems, as we saw in every source we watched or read. The underlying problem that caused all of this was the way Boston neighborhoods were largely segregated, and the schools were assigned by neighborhood. A disturbing fact I learned in an article I read (“Did Busing Slow the City’s Desegregation?” by Farah Stockman) was that Boston’s public housing desegregated in the 60s, but re-segregated when Boston Public Schools tried to desegregate because white teenagers attacked their Black neighbors and pushed them out of their homes. Boston neighborhoods remain very segregated, so even if the schools are more diverse, the reason for why the schools were segregated in the first place has still not been resolved. If anything, as the article argued, the busing may have slowed progress on desegregating Boston.


Change definitely needed to happen in BPS, because at the time, Black children were not receiving a quality education, and their schools were underfunded. Having segregated schools was also harmful to both white and Black children because they were not exposed to people too different races. In an essay from a white 6th grader at the Holmes elementary school, he said that he didn’t want to go to a school with Black kids for a whole year, because he had almost exclusively been at all white schools. This is just one of many examples of how kids are affected by only being surrounded by people who look like them. However, the way change was done may not have been the best way. It put Black children in danger and made so many people stay out of school or leave Boston, which was harmful to the school system in general.


I can imagine that going to a BPS school in 1974-75 would have been very difficult, especially for people of color being bused to majority white schools like in South Boston. I myself might have been a bit annoyed at having to be bused to a different neighborhood simply because of the inconvenience, but I don’t think that alone would be intolerable. I don’t think that would have been a big issue for me. What would have been difficult would be trying to learn in that environment because of the racial tensions, and it would be hard to have a normal learning experience while knowing what was going on around me.


One of the most effects of the desegregation era that I’ve seen is the way that “white flight” still happens in terms of schooling in Boston. Many white parents who can afford it send their children to private schools or move to the suburbs if their kids don’t get into the public schools they want them to (this could mean the elementary schools that are considered to have better academics or advanced work classes for younger children or the exam schools for high school) because many of the Boston schools are still underfunded and don’t have enough resources, and as a result, the population of BPS has a much lower percentage of white students than the city as a whole.

I think that your last point about the effects of the desegregation era are extremely significant to us as Boston students. The "white flight" is very real in Boston and a modern example of segregation in schooling.

mango04
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Originally posted by turtle17 on October 24, 2021 21:17

In my opinion, the idea of desegregation within schools nowhere near justified the busing laws, and the un-thought of reactions from families in South Boston. This is a tricky question though, because desegregation in schools needed to be ended, but how would this be possible, if a radical decision like the busing wasn't made? Although the busing had good intentions, it only resulted in more segregation and racism within the city of Boston, as well as a new fear held by Black families. They shouldn't have had to decide to send their children to a school with no supplies nor resources, or send their kids to a better school, but one with a large risk of harm, committed not just by students, but parents as well.

Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal, and in my opinion, anyone who believes otherwise is flat out racist. The contrast between schools in South Boston and schools in Roxbury was absurd, the amount of resources, space, opportunities, and teachers. But like I said earlier, what would be a smart way to try and further limit desegregation, without putting thousands of children at harm's risk? How can ending desegregation be safe in a city, a nation, that is built on systematic racism, especially one where citizens are ignorant enough to ignore that it even exists?

Change 100% needed to be made within Boston schools, and I say that with complete certainty. The Bostonians who argued that there was no inequality of resources within the schools would never have been able to experience the other point of view of it, unless they magically became Black, or were willing-which future generations know they were not-to send their children to predominately Black schools. Any white person who can confidently say that there was no difference between schools in Roxbury and Southie is completely ignorant, was raised ignorant, and would always be ignorant.

I cannot at all imagine going to school in Boston in that time period nor that environment. Even if I were to try and imagine, or make up a scenario where I did attend school in '74-'75, it would be nowhere near what it was really like. But what would have been tolerable? I think one thing that could have possibly been seen as a 'pro' when it came to busing was open-minded students being able to experience a new community and environment. Even though Boston is a small city, due to its segregation then, and even still now, it can feel like multiple. The things that would have been intolerable are obviously the hate crimes and actions committed not just by white students, but as well as white parents. Grown adults seemed to have no issue harming children simply because of their skin color, and a situation that they had no control over.

I believe the most visible effects of the desegregation era are seen today in the exam schools, and this is for two main reasons. The first is Boston Latin School is seen as the 'hardest', and 'smartest' of the three schools, and the O'Bryant is seen as the 'easiest to get in to'. It isn't a coincidence that Boston Latin School is also predominantly White, whereas the OB has the lowest population of white students out of the three. The second reason is something that happened within the past year. Because of COVID, Boston had to come up with a new way of accepting children into the schools. Instead of a big test, kids were accepted based on grades and teacher's reccomendations, and each neighborhood got a certain amount of spots. This enabled more students in predomintately Black neighborhoods to be able to attend an exam school, but also limited the amount of students from Westie, Southie, or other neighborhoods of the sorts from going. When this new system was put in place, white parents revolted against it, carrying signs and protesting because it didn't seem 'fair' for their children. Seem familiar?

I think you raise a really thoughtful question: ...how would this be possible, if a radical decision like the busing wasn't made?

This made me think about just how "radical" this must have seemed. This viewed "radicalism" may have been a reason why many were so threatened by the idea of allowing all children of Boston equal education. It's ironic how it is radical to want children---our future--- to all be educated and treated with the same respect throughout our city.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 24

Boston, race, redlining, and desegregation: What do we make of its legacy?

I don’t think the ends justify the means because Boston remains to be a segregated city with a segregated school system, meaning the “solution” didn’t work. In addition to this children were harmed in the busing process and black children were not adequately protected. Racism existed with or without busing, but busing further exposed the racism of white people in Boston. For example in the article Did busing down the City’s Desegregation, the author describes one of his close friends turning on him and nearly killing him and his family, because of the hatred busing brought to the surface.


I think desegregation was a worthy goal because of the inequity in Boston Public Schools. Ruth Batson, a parent, and an activist observed that white schools had nicer classrooms, smaller class sizes, permanent teachers, and good materials. Black schools were often overcrowded and children even said in the corridors during classes. It was obvious to her that money was going to the white schools. As further evidence, it was found that the city spent $340 on average on every white student and $240 for black students. Even when faced with these facts the Boston School Committee denied inequity. The committee was purposely upholding a segregated school system. The committee hid behind the busing terminology in order to hide their racism, allowing white people's perspectives to become the ones people heard. Despite the flaws in the way, busing was implemented, forced change was necessary since the school committee never would have done it.


I can’t imagine having to go to school in this environment. It sounds terrifying, racism reached beyond just the schools but into Boston neighborhoods where black families were forced to flee their homes out of fear for their safety. Their violent racism would have been intolerable. If I went to school at this time I think I would still be going since I wouldn’t be the target of the white students’/parents’ racist attacks, but I think I would have been very afraid of them.

]

Today many Boston Public Schools remain segregated or do not reflect the demographics of the city, including Boston Latin School. Some schools are more diverse than others which is a positive change but there is still an uneven distribution of funds based on property taxes. We can see this in schools that seem to be falling apart compared to schools that seem to have unlimited funds. Boston has made progress, even though it’s not enough, to reverse segregation in our schools, but hopefully, the implementation of a new entrance evaluation for exam schools will make BLS and other schools more diverse.

dancingsnail
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 24

Originally posted by hisoka on October 24, 2021 19:28

The ends definitely did not justify the means. Yes it got the outcome many wanted but the process children were forced from the comfort of their neighborhoods and put in places where there was no one to stop the violence. Someone was stabbed, there is no justification for that, children were being bullied by literal adults. Desegregation was a worthy goal because the things that would come from this down the line would make lives better for black students than if it never happened. And segregation also helps the white students by growing up in diverse environments and can keep them from having a racist mindset and just make the overall social environment better. Change did need to happen in BPS but there most definitely could have been a better way. Like forcing schools to desegregate and allowing black or white students in their school but definitely not through forced busing. I honestly couldn’t, I would have been terrified because of the behavior of the parents. I probably wouldn’t have cared about moving schools as much as I would about the treatment from the whole situation. The visible lasting effects would be all children being able to pick what school they want to go to and them not being single race schools.

I agree with your views on segregation in Boston Public Schools and I agree that change was necessary to desegregate. However, I'm not sure if children being able to pick what school they want to go to is the best solution, I think this might resegregate the school system preventing the diversity you talked about earlier on in the paragraph.

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