School Integration Issue
I took it for granted how diverse and academically inclined Burbank High School was when I attended it.
Reading the movement in Los Angeles for bussing and integrating schools in 1970s, I felt privileged. It was not an easy task for advocates and parents across the country for integrating schools and hope for equal opportunities after Brown v. Board of Education. The bussing system in Los Angeles Unified District in the hopes for integrating schools had a slow movement because most parents did not agree to this idea of integrating their children with other race.
According to Divided We Fail: Segregation and Inequality in the Southland’s Schools,” “A desegregation case was filed against the Los Angeles district, and after a lengthy trial, Superior Court Judge Gitelson ordered the district to begin desegregation and to eliminate majority minority schools by 1972.25 The decision was attacked by the Los Angeles mayor, by President Nixon, and by the state superintendent of public instruction. Governor Ronald Reagan called this decision by a Republican judge “utterly ridiculous.” The case was appealed, no desegregation took place, and the judge was defeated in a reelection bid after a nasty campaign later in 1970.”
It was unfortunate for students to not have the right to choose a school they wanted to attend. A selfish decision for politicians to attack the decision to desegregate schools due to gaining votes for their campaign because the nation was “not ready” for their school system to change.
An advantage for me is to go to a school where it had diverse background, offered advanced classes, and extracurricular activities. Today, most cities still have the same issue of parents trying to put their children in a school where it has more opportunities. They were hindered from it because of where they live or the district they live in does not allow them to attend a school where it is advanced.
According to Alia Wong argued,“[…]children today are more racially and socioeconomically isolated than they have been in decades.”
Not everyone has the privilege to have an affluent background or live in a decent neighborhood where schools are academically inclined. For those parents who wish their children to go to these schools, they do not have enough time in a day to enroll or be in a lottery system. Most of them are single-parents and they are working multiple jobs.
Moreover, bussing system from hundreds of miles away will take away the time for children to have proper rest. It is unfair for those who are bussing because by the time they get home the students do not have enough energy to do their assignments compare to those who live close to their schools. This will create an academic gap between those who live nearby and those who were bussing.
Sadly based on the answer I received from Alia Wong of “In Pursuit of Integration,” we still have the issue of not everyone gets to have an equal opportunity in their education or attend integrated schools. The public policy and parents hinder it from happening even though teachers are their biggest advocates.