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?