Sarasota News Leader

11/16/2012

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HISTORY TALKS Crocker Church stands in Pioneer Park on 12th Street in the northern part of Sarasota. Photo by Scott Proffitt LONGTIME COMMUNITY RESIDENTS DISCUSS HOW INTEGRATION AFFECTED NEWTOWN STUDENTS WHEN SCHOOL BUSING WAS MANDATED IN THE LATE 1960S By Scott Proffitt Staff Writer Carolyn Mason was a teenager in Newtown, preparing to enjoy her senior year in high school, when federally mandated school bus- ing came to Sarasota County. "My senior year was supposed to be the best year, but it was by far the worst. I remember feeling so alone," she told an audience Tues- day night, Nov. 13, at Crocker Church in Pio- neer Park. The vice chairwoman of the Sarasota County Commission, Mason was moderating a discus- sion about integration's effects on Newtown — one in a series of talks being sponsored by the Historical Society of Sarasota County. She shared a table with three other longtime Sarasotans at the front of the church, which dates to 1901. Dorothye Smith taught school in Newtown and had done so for 17 years when, in 1967, she was sent to teach in Venice, a long com- mute made worse by the fact that she was not allowed to eat in any of the restaurants in that city if she had to work late, such as for a PTA meeting.

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