Interview with Kathy Stapleton

What do you think the effect was of bussing on you, as an individual, on the high school, and on South Boston as a community?


I think bussing had a lot of effect on, on me personally. My family and friends in the community. I think, ah, for myself it made, ah, it took away, it, it made us grow up a little faster. Senior year, like you know I said before is kind of a social year for, for kids you know. It's important to getting yourself into college and straightened away. But it's also social. The friends you make in your senior year of high school, girlfriends, boyfriends are usually the friends for life, especially in the tight-knit neighborhood community like South Boston. The school itself was, ah, ah, in any neighborhood, in any city. I think especially in, in these cities, middle class cities, people use the high school as a, ah, a reason for getting together. We have good football teams, hockey teams, ah, young boys aspire to be athletes. You know they hope to get on the team. They hope to play hockey or football or basketball. This was taken away during bussing because all of a sudden this nei--everyone was proud, we had South Boston and Eastie games every Thanksgiving, you know, we played against the other town. It was a source of pride for the community, you know, if you had a good team or a good school. And, ah, this was taken away because, ah, the kids were all taken out of the school and sent different ways. People left the community. Friends were split up, and, ah, so it took the, it took a source of pride away from the town I guess, you know because, ah, it was you know you were from Southie, you go to Southie High fo--you know you're on the team and you're pretty proud of that fact, and, ah, Dorchester or any other parts of, of Boston, they all feel the same about their high school. And that was taken away. And I think that's a big dent in the community. Especially in the city where kids need some direction. You know, they need something to aspire to or a reason for wanting to go to school. You know and, ah, that was taken away. And families too, you know, ah, parents that wanted to, parents are afraid for their kids. You know they were upset. They didn't know whether they should send them public school or they should sell their house and send them to a private school. It just, ah, it effected everybody, you know families, friends and the community as a whole, I think.