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Letters | Boston looks to find path to best schools

Legacy of busing must inform the work ahead

More than 150 parents, students, and politicians attended the Boston School Committee public meeting at English High School March 7 on the new student-assignment plan.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Having only lived in Boston since 1986, I did not live through the tumultuous early years of court-ordered busing, but I want to respond to your editorial in support of the revised school assignment plan (“School assignment proposal shows progress, merits support,” March 13). It was curious that the editorial did not directly state that busing was imposed to redress a pattern of racial discrimination in the Boston schools.

For years, black students had been denied equitable educational opportunities. For the city and for individuals, discrimination and the violent response to desegregation efforts resulted in significant losses; for many, the traumatic effects linger. This legacy is an essential part of the back story to attempts to revise the student assignment plan.

The Union of Minority Neighborhoods’ Boston Busing/Desegregation Project aims to bring this back story to the front, and to continue the unfinished work of ensuring that all of Boston’s children have access to high-quality schools. As a white Boston public school parent, I have experienced the many ways that race and class shape our children’s educational experiences. As adults, we must embrace all of Boston’s children as our own, and create the schools they all need to thrive.


Barbara McQueen