Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Vincent J. Cannato

Second Advisor

Timothy Hasci

Third Advisor

Benjamin D. Johnson


The role of the Boston Teachers Union in the Boston busing crisis was examined. The research question addressed was: what role did the BTU play in the Boston busing crisis. Sources used were legal documents, school committee meeting minutes, newspaper articles, and BTU records. In my research I found that the BTU feared losing control over personell as a result of the Garrity decision. They were concerned about the placement of teachers, teacher safety, and quotas for minority candidates. They opposed these measures, while also trying to carry out Garrity’s plan to the best of their ability. They also fought for other collective bargaining issues, which inadvertently affected the busing crisis. In 1981 the City of Boston needed to lay off teachers and decided to overrule seniority in order to maintain the minority teacher quota. The BTU fought this decision, petitioning to the supreme court. This effort was unsuccessful and was very divisive among union membership.


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