Busing for school integration
= Audio Available Online
Former Chief of Police of the city of Louisville remembers preparation of the city police force for school desegregation process and recounts law enforcement activities and incidents.
Esther Nochlin's teaching career spanned twenty-six years in the Louisville city/county school system. Mrs. Nochlin taught English at Booker T. Washington, Steven Foster, Warner, and Highland schools. She stresses that she always taught in inner city schools and that she liked that assignment. When asked about court-ordered busing and school system merger she stated little of no impact on her role as a teacher. She talks about the changing attitudes and lack of support from the home; she states that by the mid-1970s parents stopped backing teachers and she felt that teachers were losing authority. She discusses the various prinicpals she worked with, and offers her opinions of them. She speaks in favor of academic tracking, to help students get the help they need.
An African American family discusses their experiences in living in the East End during integration years.
Mrs. Parker retired in May 1991 after twenty-seven years in public education. She was hired to teach in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1964, following college. She taught high school English and psychology for one year. She then moved to Jefferson County, where she taught junior high math for two years. Over the next twenty-four years she became a school counselor, and served at Stuart, Moore, Frost, Knight, and Highland schools. She talks about the changes she saw over her career. She speaks at length about the problems the schools had during the years following court-ordered busing and the merger of the city and county schools. She didn't feel prepared for the chaos and hostility and she spent much of her time resolving conflicts with students, teachers and parents. She also describes the change from junior high schools to middle schools, which gave the 6-8 grades an identity separate from the high schools, and promoted unity in the staff. She speaks of greater teacher involvement with all students, healthier holistic approaches, and identification of home problems in the new middle schools. In the last ten years of her career, Parker notes social phenomena and issues including "latchkey" children, single parent homes, dysfunctional families, and sex and drug abuse, which the schools were identifying. She saw her job change from administrator to facilitator between student, parent, teacher, and communtiy resource, a change she welcomed. Her greatest sense of accomplishment was working with "at risk" students.
Judge Peck, U. S. Court of Appeals, describes school segregation cases in the 6th Circuit Court from 1954, through the school desegregation suits of Jefferson County, 1975.
Suzanne "Suzy" Post, born in Louisville in 1933, was a mother of five living in the East End of Louisville when she began to be involved in the Civil Rights Movement in Louisville.Post became active at a young age, choosing to do a project on the Louisville Urban League when in school and then joining the NAACP at Indiana University. In 1957, she joined the ACLU and then in 1969 became President of the Louisville ACLU before moving on to become a national Vice President for 12 years. She discusses in this interview her first memory of walking in a picketline, her time as a Jesse Jackson delegate in 1984, and her experience as a white woman in the movement. She discusses her involvement in fundraising for the Open Housing demonstrations as well as helping to find school board candidates for JCPS who were sympathetic to busing and getting them elected and educated. Post's involvement in the busing movement in Louisville was one that she discussed in length. In 1970 she worked as the President of an affiliate that worked to talk with communities and people within the community on the busing plans that they wanted to be implemented. Post discusses the first day that busing began as well as the atmosphere in the city and provides information on how she stayed active once busing had begun within Louisville.
Parent and school bus driver remembers the first months of busing in Jefferson County.
A member of Save Our Community Schools (SOCS), an anti-busing organization describes her resistance to busing in the 1970s and her subsequent election to the Jefferson County School Board in 1974 as a result.
Lead counsel for the plaintiffs of Louisville school desegregation describes the suit against the state and discusses actions taken by the courts in the final ruling handed down in 1975.
Former Mayor of Louisville remembers the process of school integration in Jefferson County.