Burch, James

60 min.
McQueen, Aaron
Transcription available:
Interview Number(s):
Mr. Burch was principal of Southern High School when Jefferson County Public Schools initiated busing for integration in 1975. He was a long-time resident of Okolona, and a graduate of Southern High School. While stating that within the school, he was isolated from the community, he indicates that the pulse of the community had been quickened by media reports. He indicates that they never had any direct problems with protestors prior to the riots of September 6, 1975, and that rioters never tried to inerefere with the running of the school. He characterizes the internal workings of the school as remaining normal during this period, and indicates that the teachers kept their opinions to themselves. Similarly, he describes the students as having coped well under duress, with few discipline problems. He states that though the student body was obviously uncomfortable in the position it was in, the students did not fight amongst themslves. Burch recalls the night of a football game with Moore High School, another south end school which before the segregation order had been primarily black. He describes the issue as slowly dying down over the course of the school year - protestors eventually stopped coming around the schools, attendance gradually improved, and life returned to normal by the end of the school year.
Busing for school integration--Kentucky--Louisville, Jefferson County Public Schools School, School integration--Kentucky--Louisville