$0.00 – $6.00
Melissa Manwaring, under the direction of David Fairman and Stacie Nicole Smith
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among governmental, organizational, and family stakeholders regarding the implementation of court-ordered racial integration measures in Boston public schools and possible improvements in education and community relations
The Boston Busing Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Civil Rights and School Integration in the United States.
OVERVIEW OF THE BOSTON BUSING ROLEPLAY:
This role play is set in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1970s. The background instructions give a brief history of school segregation and desegregation in the U.S. and Boston through the early 1970s. Multiple efforts have been made to improve schools for blacks in Boston, including voluntary one-way busing (Operation Exodus), metropolitan busing (METCO), and state legislation (RIA). But the Boston School Committee has resisted all attempts to make substantive changes to integrate the schools, and has denied that the schools are deliberately segregated. In 1972, black parents and the NAACP turn to the federal courts for a remedy.
In late spring of 1974, Federal Judge W. Arthur Garrity handed down his opinion in Morgan v. Hennigan, ruling that the members of the Boston School Committee “have knowingly carried out a systematic program of segregation…Therefore, the entire school system of Boston is unconstitutionally segregated.” In hopes of remedying the situation, Judge Garrity recommends implementing a plan written earlier by Charles Glenn, of the State Board of Education.
Although a series of hearings and negotiations did occur at this time on the Massachusetts Education Department plan written by Charles Glenn, as well as a number of attempts to build consensus among those affected by the decision, the key stakeholders never convened in a formal or informal facilitated setting. It is at this point that the Boston Busing Role Play becomes counter-factual. Our simulation asks participants to imagine “what if” all the stakeholder groups had been brought together for negotiations before Phase I of school integration had been attempted (and failed).
Therefore, as our simulation begins, Mayor White has called a meeting of the major stakeholders to review the Glenn Plan for integrating the schools, and to discuss alternative strategies. The meeting is to be chaired by his representative. Invited to the meeting are representatives of the Boston School Committee, the NAACP, the State Board of Education, and white and black parents.
GOALS OF A WORKABLE PEACE ROLEPLAY:
The Boston Busing Role Play aims to:
- Provide accurate historical and background information on school desegragation in the U.S., and in Boston in the 1970s.
- Stimulate and motivate student learning through active participation, as well as reading, writing, class discussion, and other forms of analysis and expression.
- Build students' negotiation and conflict management skills by asking them to take on the roles of participants seeking to resolve a conflict through negotiation, with support and feedback as they prepare, conduct, and debrief the role play.
- Challenge students to find the links between the conflict presented in the role play and the conflict resolution steps presented in the Workable Peace Framework, and to apply them to other conflicts in history and in their own lives.
Teacher's Package Includes:
- History and General Instructions
- Confidential Instructions for the black parents' representative, the white parents' representative, and the representatives of the NAACP, the Boston City Schools, the Mayor's office, and the State Board of Education
- Framework for a Workable Peace
- Teaching Note
If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:
The Consensus Building Institute, Inc. 238 Main Street, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA 02142 Tel: 617-492-1414 Fax: 617-492-1919 web: www.cbuilding.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston Busing Role Play Attributes
|Time required:||3-5 hours|
|Number of participants:||6|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|