posts 16 - 30 of 42
stuckyducky
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 7

I think that the the eventual desegregation of BPS did end up justifying busing. Desegregation allowed for more and more people to have equal opportunities which is a good thing. Busing did allow for desegregation to happen but I think that there should have been more thought in the plan relating to how the community could recieve it. Especially in the time, the parents of the children affected by busing reacted negatively to the new policy, even resorting to violence against literal children which should not have happened. Because of these actions, I remember that in one clip I watched, the young Black children did not wish to participate in busing anymore due to the violence they faced. I think that stuff like this set back desegregation but unfortunately I don’t think that we could have avoided it, especially because of how it was in those times and because of how people are generally unwilling to accept change. I think that other options should have been explored for desegregation as well. In the end I think that it would be more equitable if all Boston Public Schools had the same level of funding and opportunities in order to give everyone an equal education. Unfortunately, this is probably unlikely to ever happen but I think that we really should be working towards creating schools that are all as good as each other. Especially with the exam school system, I think that if we just funded other public high schools similarly to how exam schools are funded, it wouldn’t cause such a pressure on getting into an exam school in order to have a good education. Everyone should have access to a good education.


Desegregation was a very worthy goal. There is no reason why we had to continue to divide children who didn’t see anything wrong with each other. Although there are still significant disparities, it was crucial to desegregate schools because it helps to have fewer generations partake in divison.


Change did need to happen in BPS. Unfortunately the solution of busing came with the price of violence but it begin the start of desegregation. Desegregation was probably never going to happen with a quick and easy fix and I think that busing solved the quick fix but came at the cost of having the transition be easy which was probably the best solution at the time.


School in the 1974-75 environment must have been unbearable. One of the articles mentions how their friend group turned against each other because of the busing situation. A video clip mentioned how children feared going to school because of the backlash that other parents subjected them to. I don’t think I could’ve gone through it, at any age. I think that just seeing that it was either my friends or fully grown adults causing such hate over an opportunity for me to get a good education would’ve been unbearable. I cannot imagine the level of fear that those kids went through during that time.


Today, I think one of the biggest effects of the desegregation era is the METCO program. I think that it works really well to try and get kids a proper education. It helps to bridge these inequalities and exposes both groups to each other, which probably wouldn’t happen until much later in the future.


In response to travelalarmclock, I completely agree with the last paragraph of their post. I agree with how they say that despite desegregation, there still isn’t completely equal opportunities in education. I would like to add my earlier point that there needs to be more and more opportunities and funding for other public schools in order to not have people thinking that an exam school is the only way to get a real good education in Boston. There needs to be equal opportunities throughout the BPS system, not just for the schools that have the “smartest” kids. I think that if we started giving more attention to other schools, we could create more and more schools with smart kids, all together improving the city’s educational system.

purpledog11
Posts: 7

I think the ends did justify the means, however, I do agree with travelalarmclock that there probably was a better solution than busing. Busing I think is a decent first step into integrating schools, but especially with the resistance that white people had at the beginning, to me, it seems obvious that the system wouldn’t necessarily be as effective as Judge Garrity hoped it’d be. From a zoomed-out perspective, I think that no matter what, something like integrating schools was always something difficult to do, because of the way that society was built all throughout this nation’s founding, white people are superior to anyone colored, or really any other race. But as we’ve discussed in class, race, as a whole, it just a social construct, there’s no purpose at all in categorizing citizens of society by the color of their skin, yet that’s what we’ve done for such a long time.

Desegregation is such a worthy goal. Not only, does it allow young people to be exposed to an environment with people from different backgrounds, but also it takes a step forward into accepting that race is just a social construct. It allows the oppressed communities, like Black students, to gain resources for a better education, thus equaling the playing field just barely.

I definitely agreed that change needed to happen in the BPS system, there was no reason to continually discriminate against POC students, and definitely continue to limit every student’s chances if they weren’t white. Yet, I also think that there could’ve been other solutions besides busing. I think busing took the correct first steps in integrating students across the city, but how could this public school system be changed if schools were just funded equitably first? This would help bridge the gap between unequal resources, yet classrooms would still be segregated, so I’d propose a plan of both busing and adequate funding.

Honestly, I can’t imagine going to school in the mid-1970s, and I think it's because of the current situation I go to school in. I understand that it is such a privilege to go to an exam, and to go to schools that have always been funded well publicly, but also to go to a school with integrated classrooms. Around fifty years ago, my life would’ve been completely different if it weren’t for the start of integrating schools. I think most of the things I learned about busing in Boston, from Eyes on the Prize, was how violent busing ended up being. I don’t think I would’ve been able to put up with all of that, especially with not the best anxiety, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to tolerate nearly any of it.

I think you still see the undertone of busing ever present in modern Boston. Students to this day still take long bus drives to schools far away from their houses to just get a better education. This also stems from how schools before integration were funded differently, and this is still indicative to this day. Not just public funding, but also private funding. It is well-known that the exam schools receive a greater endowment in total, just because of their wealthy alumni, something that not every school has access to, since once again, race has always been a social construct from the time it was invented. Though it may not be physically seen when you think of Boston desegregating their public schools but to this day, this system is still so flawed because of the benefits white students and their families have always gotten.

smeeworg
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 11

If busing could actually solve the issue of desegregation in BPS, then it would be justified. However, I don't understand how officials could've passed this law without seeing the violence, outrage, and polarization this would cause. Bussing didn't benefit either whites or blacks. Both racial groups had to take buses to schools further away, and both groups felt uncomfortable in their new surroundings. Although there does have to be sacrifice for future good, it feels like these people were just treated like lab rats while the children of officials went to private schools or BLS. In one of the readings, Bulger talks about how the "not-quite-white", or poorer white families, in South Boston were also treated poorly. Also, the episode of "Eyes on the Prize" discussed how it's more convenient for people to just go to their neighborhood schools and that going to a school across town everyday is a hassle.

I think desegregation is definitely a worthy goal. Delmont states that BPS spent on average $340 per white student and $240 per black student. If there is a similar racial makeup in all schools, they'll all be funded somewhat equally, which is a sad reality. Ironically, though, bussing made the problem worse, but instead of all the white students going to certain public schools, they're now in private schools. The problem is now alot harder to solve because there's the issue of wealth inequality associated with it.

I believe the segregation of schools can't be solved with simple solutions like bussing because the issue is rooted in other problems. I mentioned earlier how it's more convenient for people to send their children to their neighborhood schools, and because neighborhoods in Boston are so segregated, the schools end up being segregated too. Thus, problems that prevent the integration of black families into white neighborhoods (and vice versa) likely contribute more to the problem than the schools themselves. I think Boston should undo the effects of practices in the 1900s that caused these issues in the first place, such as redlining, blockbusting, and white flight.

My experience in school during bussing would depend on whether I'm being bussed or not. If I were thrown into an environment in which everyone was hostile towards me, on top of the fact that I have to commute longer everyday, school would be terrible for me. I would constantly be in fear and do alot worse in my classes from all the hate I would get. If I weren't bussed, I think everything would be okay for the most part.

For me, today's BPS demographics are the most visible effect of the attempt at desegregation. Because of bussing, so many white families moved their children to private schools that only 14% of students in BPS are white, compared to 60% in 1972. This shows that the issue of desegregation is such a complex problem to solve because even if the schools do become less segregated, more white families will just move their children out.

smeeworg
West Roxbury, MA, US
Posts: 11

Originally posted by purpledog11 on October 27, 2022 23:12

I think the ends did justify the means, however, I do agree with travelalarmclock that there probably was a better solution than busing. Busing I think is a decent first step into integrating schools, but especially with the resistance that white people had at the beginning, to me, it seems obvious that the system wouldn’t necessarily be as effective as Judge Garrity hoped it’d be. From a zoomed-out perspective, I think that no matter what, something like integrating schools was always something difficult to do, because of the way that society was built all throughout this nation’s founding, white people are superior to anyone colored, or really any other race. But as we’ve discussed in class, race, as a whole, it just a social construct, there’s no purpose at all in categorizing citizens of society by the color of their skin, yet that’s what we’ve done for such a long time.

Desegregation is such a worthy goal. Not only, does it allow young people to be exposed to an environment with people from different backgrounds, but also it takes a step forward into accepting that race is just a social construct. It allows the oppressed communities, like Black students, to gain resources for a better education, thus equaling the playing field just barely.

I definitely agreed that change needed to happen in the BPS system, there was no reason to continually discriminate against POC students, and definitely continue to limit every student’s chances if they weren’t white. Yet, I also think that there could’ve been other solutions besides busing. I think busing took the correct first steps in integrating students across the city, but how could this public school system be changed if schools were just funded equitably first? This would help bridge the gap between unequal resources, yet classrooms would still be segregated, so I’d propose a plan of both busing and adequate funding.

Honestly, I can’t imagine going to school in the mid-1970s, and I think it's because of the current situation I go to school in. I understand that it is such a privilege to go to an exam, and to go to schools that have always been funded well publicly, but also to go to a school with integrated classrooms. Around fifty years ago, my life would’ve been completely different if it weren’t for the start of integrating schools. I think most of the things I learned about busing in Boston, from Eyes on the Prize, was how violent busing ended up being. I don’t think I would’ve been able to put up with all of that, especially with not the best anxiety, and I don’t think I would’ve been able to tolerate nearly any of it.

I think you still see the undertone of busing ever present in modern Boston. Students to this day still take long bus drives to schools far away from their houses to just get a better education. This also stems from how schools before integration were funded differently, and this is still indicative to this day. Not just public funding, but also private funding. It is well-known that the exam schools receive a greater endowment in total, just because of their wealthy alumni, something that not every school has access to, since once again, race has always been a social construct from the time it was invented. Though it may not be physically seen when you think of Boston desegregating their public schools but to this day, this system is still so flawed because of the benefits white students and their families have always gotten.

While I agree that attempts at school desegregation and equal funding can be made, they can only get so far. At the end of the day, most people just want to send their children to their neighborhood schools, so I think we should try to solve the issue of segregation in neighborhoods too. This is an issue that has been alot harder to tackle, but I think it would help make schools more racially balanced and equally funded.

M3L0D7
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 7
Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)? Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Yes, the ends did justify the means and desegregation is a worthy goal. If they did not start with their plan now, then when would they start? It was better to do it then than putting it off for the future. If that did happen, we would most likely be way behind than we were/are. Schools that were predominantly black had worse quality of education as the city was not giving the same amount of attention to them as they do to predominantly white schools. Desegregation slowly closes the gaps of unequal education. In a part of the film we watched in class, there was a man that described how he cried when he noticed the forms of the African Americans consisted of incorrect spelling and poorly written sentences. This shows that the education system of black Americans was so poor that it was not on the level of where it was supposed to be. In the article, “How a standoff over schools changed the country,” written by Farah Stockman, there is even a principal that admitted “she did not think that [African Americans] could learn at the same rate at which white children learn” (Stockman 5). She was the principal of a predominately black school. The busing system “forces'' the teachers/faculty to teach the same materials to black and white children, therefore allowing for the disparities between the groups to be diminished. There will be no group behind.

Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change did need to be made in Boston Public Schools. I think Judge W. Arthur Garrity’s mind was in the right place, however there were certainly other plans that could have been implemented along with busing. Getting more funding is a great way to lessen the issues that busing was also meant to solve. I do not think that just moving people to different schools is going to help a whole lot. It helps with the introduction to people of different backgrounds, but education-wise, it hurts some and benefits others. The education system should benefit all, which is why funding the less supported schools would have been a good plan to add.

Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I would have been terrified to go to school. There was, and is, so much unnecessary violence from racist, white folks. It makes me sympathize with the black parents who did not let their children go to school/participate in forced busing. I think that the people crowding in front of the schools would be the most intolerable. Not only were they violent but they had no reasonable explanation for doing it. There are parts of the film we watched where parents gathered up with their children to harass the black students in the buses. Seeing that every day while going to school would absolutely ruin me. I feel as though the anti-busing community was using the forced busing system as an excuse for acting upon their racism.

What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

There is more diversity in the community. Although it is not always evenly split all the time, it is way better than what it was in the 20th century. People are more accepting of cultures and cultural differences. That being said, there are still plenty of schools that are less diverse.


In an earlier post, testicular_cancer says that schools should have started integrating younger students first as opposed to having all students of every age all at once. I agree with this idea. In an essay from “Echoes of Boston’s Busing Crisis,” Richard Belmont explains that he was not bothered by integration because he “had [already] experienced it in the John Marshall.” Having been introduced to integration before, he did not have any negative feelings towards the desegregation between black and white people. In the film we watched earlier this week, we saw many instances where the older students were fighting and attacking each other. It is most likely that these beliefs are festered by their parents and other adults in their communities. The contrast between the reactions of the younger and older kids further supports the idea that racism is taught and not learned.


ilovefroyo
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Response

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

I believe that bussing eventually led to a time when the ends did justify the means. Now, we have students from different communities under the same roof for their education, able to get the same opportunities for the most part. Yes, there are still advantages for those in certain areas and there is still PWI (primarily white institutions) and other schools with low diversity, but it is much better than it was at the time. During the time when bussing was enforced, it may have seemed wild but it did lead eventually to something beautiful. However, that doesn't mean that the treatment that the students got was justified because it ended well. From the Echoes Of Boston website, readers were allowed to read different articles where students could express how they felt about the issue. One student, Cynthia Martin, mentioned how she felt scared to be bussed and wouldn't know what to do. She, as well as others, expressed that later they enjoyed being bussed and enjoyed their new school, claiming it was the best year of her life. I think that it was mainly the parents and the older students who enforced the idea that bussing would be bad, but the students shown in the video from class as well as those described in the compilation of essays were calm with each other and didn't understand why it would be a bad thing to have friends that looked different, expressing how they enjoyed their bussed year and would like to continue their studies.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

I think it was a worthy goal, of course. People of all color and all identies (racial and otherwise) deserve the same opportunities. But I feel like the struggle to get there shouldn't be forgotten. A lot of people now take educatin for granted, but the situations that happened before show how we should cherish it. The violence that the students went through and the friendships that may have been broken are unreal. The article titled Did bussing slow Boston's desegregation? explores how many families were okay with bussing until they felt threatened. Students and families, black and white alike, lived peacefully and were friends, until the notion that black people may enter their schools came about. One relationship specifically was between a small friend group of three, where there was playful teasing and playing games. However, the second bussing goes into effect, the relationship fizzled out. Similarly, the mother of Sal, a white student described in the article, was okay with bussing until one of her children had the opportunity to go to Roxbury for school. Many white people at the time felt that black and white people could not be equals but can coexist together. They could be friends, but couldn't go to the same schools. From bussing, students and parents alike had broken similar friendships to the group of three, because of a court ruling, as if the person had changed before and after.


  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

I think a change like most things is inevitable but Boston Public Schools did need something to fight for whether or not what they believed what right. In an article titled, Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation, the lost generation is a group of people who had passed away or thrown away their education during the time of bussing. South Boston had countless deaths due to overdose while Roxbury had deaths from gun violence, to the point where social scientists had deemed those areas as death zones. I think people may have needed a sense of community so that these deaths would stop. Though it may have not stopped all deaths, if someone was passionate about something, they may think twice before doing one of the acts described.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I wouldn't be able to imagine not feeling safe physically in a school building. Now, there may be times when I'm uncomfortable around people due to past actions or things of that nature, but I would never think that they would physically hurt me because of my appearance. I'm assuming that some rules may have been different for me as a person of color, or that sticking up to a clearly wrong white student wouldn't be allowed. The difference in rules would really bother me and would be intolerable. If I had a few friends at whatever school I would be bussed to or just had a small community of people I trusted, I feel like it would have been more tolerable, but that wouldn't change the fact that at any moment I could be hurt for just going to school.


  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

From this era, I still see heavy segregation. Even some of the neighborhoods are heavily segregated. As discussed in class, many students fled the Boston Public Schools district, and those towns and schools that they fled to are still heavily segregated today. Not in a sense that people of color aren't allowed to go there, but rather that they may be the only ones. Private schools, for example, in most places are primarily white except for a few. Making the connection between the towns and schools, towns that people of color 'weren't allowed in' are still very populated by white people, just like how schools that people of color didn't attend are the same.

ilovefroyo
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by Mylienta on October 26, 2022 12:09

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?
    • Yes, it did justify the means. It may not be the best way to have solved an issue like segregation but it does 'solve' the issue. the main problem is the fact that these kids came from schools with little to no funding, rarely any resources, and placed them in schools and expected them to succeed it's like telling a baby to walk, not giving them the proper materials to do so, and blaming them for not knowing how. The black community specifically in America has had such a unique experience and have been blamed for not 'succeeding' at the rate others are but are never given the chance to do so but then blame them for not being able to.
    • This country has had a strong history of resisting any type of change. So the busing made Americans have major growing pains so much so that they resulted in assaulting children who had nothing to do with the court decision for busing. Desegregating the schools is needed because forcing them to interact with people they otherwise wouldn't is important especially at a younger age and it also provides students with a new ideas and new perspectives from other students. Not only does desegregating schools justify the means of busing (although there are better ways) it helps students socially and academically.
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?
    • Yes because it gives everyone an equal opportunities. By creating busing to different schools of different neighborhoods they are closer to being on equal standing
    • It is also unfair how other students had more opportunities in terms of their background and former schooling. If former students came from rural southern schools or schools within he city with less funding and opportunity they are at an obvious disadvantage. In the video we watched in class a principal explained how some black students in high school were so far behind. Some didn't know how to read or write a coherent sentence and were automatically at a disadvantage without given a chance.
  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?
    • times are changing more and more people of different race are immigrating to the United States and it shouldn't stay separate especially if not everyone is given an equal opportunity. Change definitely needed to happen in the BPS system and the busing was the smoothest way it could happen. Teaching kids and allowing kids to be comfortable around kids of different races is very important especially in a country that is as multicultural and multiracial like the United States. It may sound ridiculous to us now but people genuinely did not have a lot of interaction with people of other races.
    • With issues like this Jude W. Arthur Garrity was trying to cater to the white community. Slow integration of the schooling system is not what we need. If kids are the future we should provide them with the adequate resources to succeed.
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?
    • No I can't image going to school in that environment. None of what I saw would've been tolerable but knowing the time I was put in there was probably nothing I could've done about it. It was a different time then and being outspoken wasn't encouraged. The most intolerable thing is grown adults trying to inflict harm on children who have nothing to do with what they're fighting for. Why are you screaming at these kids as if they chose to come to the school. It is such a sick mentality and it's cray to think that people either present in the video or in the protests are peoples parents and grandparents and gives me a drop of reality where these things did not happen a long time ago and there should not be a reason why I had no idea of the terrible history the city that I've lived in all my life has.
  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?
    • I have seen this first hand with the Roxbury prep schools. My sister was the first class and the school had a lot more races present and as time went on the population of non black and hispanic people disappeared, the funding went down and so did the resources. These things still happen today but happens very discreetly.
    • Also the most visible effects is white flight. Outside of and on the outskirts of boston the main population of people are white and after the bussing system of implemented more and more white families left, 'white flight', resulting in less tax funding for schools in the city and a prime example is charter schools.

I was struggling to answer the third question because I felt that my answer to it wasn't great but I completely agree with your answer. I feel like Jude W. Arthur Garrity was definitely trying to cater to the white communities like he was putting the black people in such a vulnerable situation because "black schools" were at a high disadvantage and they NEEDED the help but "white schools" were well off, similar to today. White students didn't need to move but were forced to which I think is what caused some of the violence between them. He was also trying to play off his decision to both sides when it was really obvious he favored the white people.

plasticbottle123
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 8
  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

Eventually the ends did justify the means, but it was a very rocky road to get there. There really was no other way to desegregate the schools without busing because the non white people couldn’t walk to the white schools from their neighborhoods so they had to find a way to get them there. In the beginning it may not have been justified because putting all the black people on one bus made it very easy for people to target them and when people saw that yellow school bus pulling up to Southie High they knew it was full of black children and they were going to throw things at it and yell slurs at them. The bus pretty much had an imaginary big sign on it saying “black kids aboard” which white people of Boston did not like at all. But eventually especially today the ends did justify the means because if it wasn’t for bussing our schools wouldn’t be as diverse as they are today. My elementary school would've been primarily white if it weren’t for busing and even BLS wouldn’t have been as diverse. But this doesn’t mean that we can dismiss what happened because of busing. The actions done to the black students who rode the buses are inexcusable and the amount of people who transferred schools so they didn't have to go to school with black people is embarrassing. I understand that was normal at the time, but looking back at it now it is so blatantly wrong.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Of course desegregation was a worthy goal. The most important thing in life and education is gaining multiple perspectives on everything and how are you supposed to gain different perspectives if you just hear or learn about one side of the story your whole life or only talk to people who have had the same experiences as you. It was a very hard goal, but necessary nonetheless.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

Change definitely needed to happen sooner or later because we could not have segregated schools in Boston forever. They just chose a very difficult time to do it but doing the right thing is never easy. It also makes it a lot more inspirational and powerful to look back on because the fact that they managed to pull through with it through all the violence and hate and entire towns saying they were against it is very moving. BPS could’ve easily shut it down after the first couple of school buses came back to the parking lot with their windows smashed and dents everywhere from the rocks and eggs benign throw at them when they pulled up to school. But BPS chose not to and decided to keep it going for the greater good of the future generations. There really wasn’t any other solution but bussing because how were black children supposed to walk to white schools from their neighborhoods it was too far and there wasn’t any way to slowly do it without getting the same amount of backlash. So fully committing and going into it “cold turkey” was the right and necessary thing to do even though it was so dangerous.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

It is definitely hard to imagine. It is also hard to imagine what side I would be on too. If I was a student at Southie High during the time would I too be throwing eggs and rocks at the busses full of black children just because everyone else was doing it? I would like to think that I would be rebelling against the hate and making friends with the new black students, but that brings up a big philosophical question like the example of if you were born in Nazi Germany would you hail Hitler or be against him and risk dying? But I can imagine how toxic and full of hate the whole school environment would be. How empty the classrooms would be. It would be intolerable to see the empty classrooms and the poor teachers only having a handful of students to teach. Or watch the black children who did go to school be pummeled with rocks and eggs arriving at school, be yelled at and called slurs walking into school, benign discriminate against by the teachers, and then having that all happen again at the end of the day walking out of school. I don’t think there would be any tolerable moments for me at school during this time.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

The most visible effects are of course the amount of different faces there are in every classroom in BPS schools. There are still predominantly white and black schools but for the most part a majority of BPS has good representation of diversity. Will this problem ever be fixed, probably not. Because of things like redlining and just the amount of some races in one neighborhood than the other such some schools will remain predominantly black or white. Also another visible effect is that kids are still taking buses from their neighborhoods to go to a better school in another neighborhood because they don't have a great program. That shouldn’t be the case. By now we should have a standard for all BPS schools. As a public school system there shouldn’t be a “bad one” and a “good one”. Yes exam schools will obviously be “better” but that shouldn’t mean that the normal high schools are drastically worse and then vary between towns. That is one thing that is very unfair. Even in my own town on one side of the town there is a great elementary school and then on the other side there is one that is worse. How does that make any sense?

plasticbottle123
Boston, Massachussetts, US
Posts: 8

Originally posted by ilovefroyo on October 28, 2022 06:06

  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

I believe that bussing eventually led to a time when the ends did justify the means. Now, we have students from different communities under the same roof for their education, able to get the same opportunities for the most part. Yes, there are still advantages for those in certain areas and there is still PWI (primarily white institutions) and other schools with low diversity, but it is much better than it was at the time. During the time when bussing was enforced, it may have seemed wild but it did lead eventually to something beautiful. However, that doesn't mean that the treatment that the students got was justified because it ended well. From the Echoes Of Boston website, readers were allowed to read different articles where students could express how they felt about the issue. One student, Cynthia Martin, mentioned how she felt scared to be bussed and wouldn't know what to do. She, as well as others, expressed that later they enjoyed being bussed and enjoyed their new school, claiming it was the best year of her life. I think that it was mainly the parents and the older students who enforced the idea that bussing would be bad, but the students shown in the video from class as well as those described in the compilation of essays were calm with each other and didn't understand why it would be a bad thing to have friends that looked different, expressing how they enjoyed their bussed year and would like to continue their studies.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

I think it was a worthy goal, of course. People of all color and all identies (racial and otherwise) deserve the same opportunities. But I feel like the struggle to get there shouldn't be forgotten. A lot of people now take educatin for granted, but the situations that happened before show how we should cherish it. The violence that the students went through and the friendships that may have been broken are unreal. The article titled Did bussing slow Boston's desegregation? explores how many families were okay with bussing until they felt threatened. Students and families, black and white alike, lived peacefully and were friends, until the notion that black people may enter their schools came about. One relationship specifically was between a small friend group of three, where there was playful teasing and playing games. However, the second bussing goes into effect, the relationship fizzled out. Similarly, the mother of Sal, a white student described in the article, was okay with bussing until one of her children had the opportunity to go to Roxbury for school. Many white people at the time felt that black and white people could not be equals but can coexist together. They could be friends, but couldn't go to the same schools. From bussing, students and parents alike had broken similar friendships to the group of three, because of a court ruling, as if the person had changed before and after.


  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

I think a change like most things is inevitable but Boston Public Schools did need something to fight for whether or not what they believed what right. In an article titled, Whitey Bulger, Boston Busing, and Southie’s Lost Generation, the lost generation is a group of people who had passed away or thrown away their education during the time of bussing. South Boston had countless deaths due to overdose while Roxbury had deaths from gun violence, to the point where social scientists had deemed those areas as death zones. I think people may have needed a sense of community so that these deaths would stop. Though it may have not stopped all deaths, if someone was passionate about something, they may think twice before doing one of the acts described.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I wouldn't be able to imagine not feeling safe physically in a school building. Now, there may be times when I'm uncomfortable around people due to past actions or things of that nature, but I would never think that they would physically hurt me because of my appearance. I'm assuming that some rules may have been different for me as a person of color, or that sticking up to a clearly wrong white student wouldn't be allowed. The difference in rules would really bother me and would be intolerable. If I had a few friends at whatever school I would be bussed to or just had a small community of people I trusted, I feel like it would have been more tolerable, but that wouldn't change the fact that at any moment I could be hurt for just going to school.


  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

From this era, I still see heavy segregation. Even some of the neighborhoods are heavily segregated. As discussed in class, many students fled the Boston Public Schools district, and those towns and schools that they fled to are still heavily segregated today. Not in a sense that people of color aren't allowed to go there, but rather that they may be the only ones. Private schools, for example, in most places are primarily white except for a few. Making the connection between the towns and schools, towns that people of color 'weren't allowed in' are still very populated by white people, just like how schools that people of color didn't attend are the same.

Post your response here.

I like the way you brought up the death zones in the response to the other solutions. And that you mentioned that building a sense of communities of the towns would hopefully stop this. I agree with that and the sense of community was one of the most important things of bussing because bringing so many different kids from so many different background made it so that no one felt left out or it gave more people the opportunity to not feel alone if they didn't fit in to what was "normal" at their school.

coffee and pie
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10
  • Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

In my opinion the ends justified the means, though it could have been better. integration and working towards racial equity is incredibly important, however, busing in the way that happened was bad. it did not account for poor whites, the violence, the danger, and the backlash. I think in theory it was good but in practice it was bad. in any case, the effort to integrate school in very important.

  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

As said above, desegregations is a very important goal. However, I think they failed to address other goals that tie in with the issue - like where money is going. Rather than mixing schools, why didn't they focus on making neighborhoods more friendly and welcoming to everyone? why didn’t the reconsider their plan for where the funding for schools go to? Why didn’t they work towards sending kids to different quality schools, aside from race? To only focus on busing and only desegregating schools felt like the easy way out, and it was not super effective.

  • Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

I think there were other remedies, but BPS was a good start. Some of those remedies include efforts to desegregating neighborhoods not by force, rather, by design and people and finance, or redistributing the funding for schools to be more equitable, maybe a reform in the school board.

  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

Going to school in that environment would probably be a lot more tense and hostile than right now. Racism was still a huge part of people, so things that black people did that were absolutely intolerable would be tolerated by a white kid. It’s all pretty relative based on who you were. Racism in general was definitely tolerable unless it was extremely harmful - but slurs, micro aggressions, favoritism in faculty and students, maybe even small acts of violence would be unaffected by authorities. more extreme acts like stabbings and violent fights would probably be stopped, but again, it depends on the color of your skin whether white authorities would be very willing to help.

  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

The most visible effects of the desegregation era I see is the regulations most schools and big businesses require. the percentages they need to meet to reflect the population. It’s a good effort to try and make the world more like the world (see what i did there?) but it feels a bit sad at the same time - are we really still so bad at providing equal opportunity and resources that we need the government to tell us how many of each race to put in our schools? if we didn’t have these rules would bls be a white school? it raises interesting questions and makes you question how far we have really come.

coffee and pie
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by travelalarmclock on October 27, 2022 21:42

The ends did justify the means, but there might’ve been better approaches to desegregation. School desegregation had to have happened for there to be equal opportunities among students of different backgrounds. However, the backlash of implementing the system of busing created more divisions between racial groups, causing severe violence, and even forcing families out of the homes they’d lived in for so long. I think it might’ve helped to approach the issue slower and give equal resources to all schools, for an easier transition. But in the end, there is no right or accurate way to solve the problem of segregation. In the end, busing did help to bring together communities of diverse peoples and allow all students to enjoy the same opportunities and resources.

Desegregation was definitely a worthy goal, no matter how you look at it. It allowed for better education and equal opportunities for all students. Before segregation, it was mentioned in the video in class how predominantly Black schools had a lot less resources and worse education, mainly due to immense underfunding of the schools. They were poorly educated while white students enjoyed all the privileges. Desegregation was essential for the path towards equality. Knowledge is power, as [someone] once said. Poor education sets people up for failure in the future, not for lack of trying, not for lack of capability, but lack of opportunity.

Change needed to happen in BPS. There were other solutions that could’ve been pursued, but not many that would have the same effects. Although busing did have a lot of backlash and it did cause a lot of violence, it started desegregation in schools in Boston. Something @NotATRex said really stuck out to me. Resources could’ve been supplied to the schools that did not have enough access to them, but the schools would still be segregated. The divisions between the racial groups would still be there, and there would be no chance of a diversified school. Busing was a difficult implementation to adapt to, and it certainly had effects that completely upturned families and lives, and there may have been better solutions, but most of them would not have achieved what busing did.

I could not have imagined going through school in the 1970s. What the students went through is unimaginable. There is not the only the issue of having to adapt to such a big change, such a new environment. On top of that, there was so much violence, so many mobs, protests. There were groups of people waiting for the buses to attack the people inside. I read a short essay by Cynthia Martin. She says that if she were to be bused, she would not know what to do. It’s hard to respond to situations such as these. I think I would not know how to act, what to say, what to do, especially with the divisions between people supporting busing and people not. All the rallies, crowds, and more than anything, the violence, would be almost too much to bear.

The most visible effect of the desegregation of 1974-1975 are classrooms, schools, of people of all different ethnicities and races conversing and interacting and all receiving the same education, the same opportunities, the same resources, that they deserve. However, I don’t think it really is the same opportunities. I don't think many of us realize that students of Boston Latin School are privileged, receiving better education and opportunities than students of other schools. This may not be primarily an issue of race, but more of inequity.

I think it's really interesting you brought up that people at BLS are more privileged than other schools, which I agree with. We passed a test and because of it we, as a whole and as individuals, have gone through some of our most malleable growth in a very competitive and academic environment. however, i think it is important to bring up the fact that even within BLS and the admissions process there is a clear inequity happening and, as Ms. Freeman mentioned in class, even the staff does not meet the standard for reflecting race in the real world

WindWanderer
Posts: 9

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

  • Did the ends justify the means? I think that the idea of desegregation was a good one, and a necessary one. It's necessary to understand and know people of different backgrounds and cultures and to be able to have discussions and interactions with them that are at the very least civil. Remaining divided by race has gotten us as a society nowhere in life, and has only benefited one group of people. The desegregation of schools would in theory provide non-white children with opportunities not provided at the schools they had been forced to attend. They would have access to the same resources that the white schools did, and no longer have to attend schools that were severely underfunded, overcrowded, and that contained racist materials. However, I don't think that the way that the mayor went about busing was very good. It was very hasty a decision and put many black children in danger by sending them into areas that had already voiced their disapproval quite loudly. Yet it speaks volumes to their resilience that they kept putting themselves through all that in order to receive a better education, further proving how necessary the desegregation of schools was and is today.
  • I agree with Wonderwoman's point that perhaps desegregation would be easier if it had been introduced to children in lower grades. Racism is something that is taught, passing from one generation to the other. If children of different races were introduced to each other from a very young age, what they know about each other might prevent them from believing just anything that they are told by parents, teachers, and other adults. They would learn early on to form their opinions of people based on personality, not looks or stereotypes, and they would learn to question the negative and hurtful things fed to them by others.
  • Was desegregation a worthy goal or not? Desegregation was an incredibly worthy goal. As I said before, children living in somewhere such as Roxbury, who were mainly children of color, had very little opportunity, especially compared to what the white children in somewhere like South Boston had. Without desegregation, all that is left is oppression, in and out of school. I would say that a bigger problem than the segregated schools was the segregated city. And it wasn't just that white people and people of color were living separately, the communities receiving black children were throwing stones, hurling around the n-word, throwing eggs, mobbing them as they got off of their buses to attend class. It was dangerous for these children to go to school, and tensions were sky-high between races in the buildings themselves. What desegregation is meant to achieve is a sense of community comprised of all types of people, so that going forwards, people would become accepting and tolerant of everyone, therefore building a more functional and flourishing society.
  • Did changes need to happen in Boston Public Schools? Yes, there absolutely needed to be changes in the BPS school system. Students should never have had to be transported to the other side of the city to get a decent education. Students should never have had to borrow pencils everyday only to have to return them at the end of each and every day, never have had to read books containing songs about slurs while others were learning comfortably day to day. Even though the schools that were receiving students from across the city were in the same district as the others, the ones in white neighborhoods were so much better funded and tended to. The district had the opportunity to spread their funds over all 125 schools within it. It might have lowered the standards at other schools, but at least every child would be experiencing the same thing. And when the level of education students in predominantly colored neighborhood.
  • Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable? I could not imagine going to school during those years. There would be very few things tolerable at that time. Travel time by bus might not have bothered me so much. But having to go to school everyday to crowds outside, to hostility in the hallways is an unbearable thought. Fights broke out over the small things, there were graffiti slurs everywhere, people chanting that Boston needed to be saved, and overall the environment was so filled with hate. It might not have been worth it to be in a place of higher learning, only to be surrounded by people who either fear you or hate you.
  • What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975? I can look around a classroom and see people of many different races. I can speak to someone and be spoken to by someone with us paying attention to how animatedly they speak, or how nice they are versus paying attention to their race. It's something we immediately take not of, but not something we really focus too much on. It's also obvious among younger grades, who did not take the ISEE, that their demographic is a lot different than our class'. They stopped requiring the exam to get into BLS in order to create a more diverse student body, giving more students of color the opportunity to come here that they might not have gotten otherwise. Should a parent want to send their child to a different school though, they have that option. The METCO program today still buses students of color into white, suburban neighborhoods. It can be inconvenient, with some students having hour long commutes of longer to or from school. It's the same story of feeling the need to leave a certain area to be sure that you are getting an adequate education.
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autumn_
boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 8

This situation takes on such a complicated shape, especially when we ask if the ends justify the means. The process of busing put kids in danger every day, considering they were being yelled at and things were being thown at them by literal adults. The problem is that these kids did nothing wrong; the ignorance of the white majority turned their everyday commute into a horror movie.

With the statistics presented, the shift in diversity within the BPS system is impressive. However, its important to note that schools (like BLS) remain both the most prestigious…and the most white. When examining the BPS schools, its not surprising that there tends to be racial divides within them. Yes, busing did tremendous work at diversifying the system, but there is still so much work to do. Furthermore, it all comes down to the ethical question of whether putting these children in danger was worth it. I personally think it was, because when you face a tall crowd you simply have to stand taller. The question is if these kids really had a choice. Did they even enjoy going to school? Do they wish busing was never implemented? This is where we need to ask the black individuals who were bussed during this time period about their experience.

All in all, I think desegregation was a worthy goal. As human beings, our soul purpose is to both learn and teach, and it’s hard to do that when everyone you are surrounded by looks exactly like you. There is nothing more beautiful than the honest sharing of culture. In the article “How a standoff over schools changed the country” by Farah Stockman, the quote "integration is as much a part of education as is reading, writing, and arithmetic," really stuck with me. It shows how diversity within everyday life teaches us more than we’ll ever know, and anyone who says that they’ve learned nothing from their peers of a different culture would be lying.

I truly dont know if there is another remedy that could replace the busing system. This system was the first move to truly integrate schools, and at the time there was no other option.

As a person of color myself, I cannot imagine going to school within this time period. Attending school in Roxbury would be one thing, but being bussed to South Boston accompanied by screaming and violent adults sounds absolutely terrifying. From the compiled quotations in “Echoes of Boston’s busing crisis”, one quote really stuck out to me: "I think that when they brought up the integration, they picked the wrong place. Perhaps South Boston ruined the whole idea. But here at the Holmes, both races get along fine." This quote from Julie Hannigan, a black student during this time, highlights how this system was genuinely made 10x worse because of the racists during this time. For schools like the Holmes, there was no problem. The hate that was presented in South Boston shows how afraid of change people can be. Moreover, with the number of fights discussed in the documentary, the one thing that sounds truly intolerable/punishable is extremely impactful violence, such as the stabbing that occurred. At the same time, I believe that if a black student were stabbed there wouldn’t be nearly as much sympathy from the white community.

As traumatic as this sounded, I do see the effects of this system in our present-day school life. Furthermore, busing was about more than integration. The article “The lasting legacy of the Boston busing crisis” by Matthew Delmont includes insight from Ruth Bathon, a Boston civil rights activist. Batson “understood that school integration was about more than having black students sit next to white students”. The article dives deeper into the advantages the majority white schools presented, vs those majority black. In reality, black families just wanted their children to get the best education possible because that's what they deserved. Most of these articles focused on the integration aspect, but I feel that the disparities within the initial problem of black students being discriminated against in the school system deserve more attention.

All in all, this system has provided changes where I can sit with whomever I want, make friends with whomever I want, and travel to my school building without being confronted by an angry mob. I personally believe that is the bare minimum, but it's something. It means that this work amounted to something for future generations, and I think that is very special.

harlin_miller
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10
  1. I think that the ends did justify the means in this case, because any step towards desegregation is a good step to take. It had to happen at some point in my opinion. It did not however, fix the main problem which is the inequity in the distribution of resources in the Boston school system. This is still a problem today, and I think that the goal should have been more towards equal opportunity in schools rather than almost making the events a political thing. So overall, I think that looking back it was a great thing that these were things that people were fighting for, however I think that it could have been handled slightly differently/better.
  2. Desegregation was a very worthy goal because It is outwardly racist, and people of color, especially children, should not have to go through things like that. When kids experience these things it changes their mentality so much and things like it will continue to happen. Even the fact that they had to go through having such awful experiences with the lack of resources in their schools compared to that of white schools was insane to me. Even if both schools were underfunded by BPS, it affected children of color significantly more.
  3. Change definitely did need to happen in the Boston public schools. The education that these children were getting was lacking very heavily, and education is such an important thing for kids to have. If the schools ended up getting better funding, segregation would have never changed, and even after bussing I think there were several problems that needed to be faced, and that still affect the BPS community today.
  4. I really can’t imagine going to school during this time. I would have been terrified every day, especially due to the police presence outside all of the schools. I think it is crazy that people had to experience this because other people wanted to be ignorant. Remembering the videos we watched, the way that these adults were acting towards children was disgusting. They were screaming such vulgar things, and attacking them. It was so hard to watch, I can’t imagine living through it. I genuinely don’t think that there was anything that would have been tolerable about going to school at this time.
  5. I think that today, there are so many schools that are much more diverse than a long time ago, and this is partially due to the fact that testing to get in exam schools was taken away. This allowed for people with less fortunate circumstances, and people who were not able to get top notch tutoring or education beforehand to be able to have that now. It is more accessible to people which is amazing for the equality of education.
harlin_miller
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 10

Originally posted by testicular_cancer on October 27, 2022 11:03

Did the ends (desegregating the Boston public schools) justify the means (busing)?

I think that any form of desegregating Boston’s public schools was a good idea but I think they should’ve explored other ideas beyond busing and gone about busing in a different way. I think had they started busing/intergration at younger levels, there would not have been as much backlash from white students, because they would’ve been exposed to diversity and change at a young age- when their minds were still very impressionable. I also think that had parents been excluded from the change and the choices (of attending school) were left to the students, the outcome would’ve also been clamer amongst other differences.


Was desegregation a worthy goal or not?

Desegregation of Boston’s public schools was definitely a worthy goal especially with the imbalance of education and opportunities in these schools. There were so many disparities and resources and teachers that the segregated schools would’ve continued feeding cycles of oppression, and desgregation is what allowed these schools to begin change, not just within them system, but expanding outward to Boston. Despite the fact that (in the cast of Roxbury and Southie) the schools were unfunded in both places, the white students still had (and still have) a systemic advantage that they were benifiting from. So the aim to desegregate the schools was still an important goal regardless of the financial and funding differences.


Did change need to happen in the Boston Public Schools or were there other solutions to the remedy prescribed by Judge W. Arthur Garrity?

There were many changes that needed to happen in the Boston Public Schools regarding desegregation- and there many solutions beyond busing. Black children and families should’ve been more largely allowed to transfer to other schools- as much as white children and families were transferring out of predominately black schools. IQ testing should’ve also been disregarded because, in the words of Batson, it was “unfair to children who’d just arrived from rural communities.”


Can you imagine going to school in the environment of 1974-1975? What would have been tolerable? What would have been intolerable?

I couldn’t even begin to imagine going to school in that environment- and like Mylienta said, I don’t agree with any of the actions taken by white people at the time- but I also don’t know that there would’ve been anything I could’ve done about it. I also agree with the idea that the most intolerable thing that occurred during this desegregation busing was when White parents went out of their way to harm or attack small black children who might not have even fully understood what was going on.


What do you see as the most visible effects today of the desegregation era of 1974-1975?

There is a lot of “White Flight” that has occurred, especially as white people move outside of Boston and give more funding to schools out in suburbs as well as charter schools. I also know that while there is some integration in schools like those in Charlestown, they are still predominantly white and disproportionate.

I definitely agree with your point about IQ testing, and I think that it allowed education to be much more accesible to people who did not originally have the resources they needed to "test in".

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