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There were stories, indeed there were stories before school opened. Some were predictions of what was supposed to happen at specific schools. At the Rochambeau school in Dorchester, there was supposed to be a white boycott. No white students were going to show up because of the busing. There were some white students at the Rochambeau school today, and Paul deGive has a story about what went on. At the Rochambeau elementary school in the predominantly white Fields Corner section of Dorchester, the scene this morning was one of peaceful confusion. There were more parents and fewer kids than on a normal opening day but there was little apparent tension. One mother, Mrs. Barbara King, although refusing to send her child, showed up herself to observe. I'll wait to see how things go today, she told me, and maybe send my daughter on Monday. She said she and her 12 year-old daughter had both been frightened by all the talk and and had visions of violence. Apparently other parents and kids felt the same way because only half of the 330 whites supposed to show at the Rochambeau did show. The story was much the same with Black kids, with only half of the expected 72 Blacks showing up.
Along the Neponset Avenue bus route for the Rochambeau, there were only a handful of kids at each stop, if that. One bus arrived at the school completely empty. It was supposed to have been full. Another bus arrived with as many mothers as kids. Rochambeau Assistant Principal Marie Madden told me attendance was poorest in the first and second grades. Parents, she explained, obviously are more fearful for the younger children. Mrs. King, the mother who showed up without her daughters, said that last year her daughter had gone to the nearby Murphy school, considered by many to be a lucky catch because it's new attractive and has a swimming pool. Predictions were that white parents would boycott the less attractive Rochambeau and demonstrate at the Murphy, and even try to force re- enrollment of their kids in the Murphy. The 50 percent absentee rate does suggest some sort of boycott at the Rochambeau, however peaceful. But the school department said it had no reports of any incidents at the Murphy and Mrs. King said the newness or oldness of the school was not important to her. Incidentally, two thirds of the Black and
about two thirds of the White kids expected to show up at the new Murphy school did so. For today, Two thirds is considered to be a good attendance rate. There may have been some tense stomachs and there certainly was much scratching of heads and prolonged attempts to match strange faces with the right classes, but at the Rochambeau school in Dorchester this morning there were no clenched fists or even angry words. The Martin Luther King school in Dorchester last year was all Black. Not one White student. This year 634 White students are supposed to be brought into the King, and again there was supposed to be a boycott. Reporter Judy Stoia went to the King School today. Here is what she found. Parents and teachers at the Martin Luther King's School began gearing up for integration last spring, when it became clear that white students would be assigned to the almost all black school. Today their efforts seemed to pay off. Community workers assigned to the King moved children off of buses and immediately into the school. The sidewalks are continually cleared of groups of people in traffic and
moved right along. Many of the white children assigned to the King were nervous this morning. The rumor mill has been at work with stories of chained windows and children locked in their classrooms at the King. But 130 children did show up this morning. And, white children that is, and found rumors to be just that - rumors. The king was supposed to have almost five times as many white students today, but many parents kept their children at home. Apparently until they could gauge the situation at the King. The white enrollment is expected by school officials to be considerably larger next week, if today's calm continues. Although today's total attendance, excuse me, was down by more than 50 percent of what it was supposed to be, the staff of the King was still elated. The school had been earmarked as a trouble spot, as one intermediate school that would have some real problems if any school would. Although no one's saying that still won't happen, community leaders say that possibility of trouble is becoming more and more remote. Thank you Judy. Most of us we're talking to grownups today -the mayor, the school
superintendent, other school officials, policemen and so forth, getting our story from them. But two of our reporters spent their day with children who went to school and didn't go to school. Greg Pilkington and Diane Dumanoski spent nearly all day, from early in the morning until this afternoon, both on the bus and around schools and so forth. Greg, you spent your day with black kids who were bused into South Boston. Tell me a story. What was it like as they rode into South Boston? Well this morning I would say the kids were pretty nervous, but the nervousness was mixed with sort of a kind of outward of bravery, and then one would say to the other, but I'm really scared, I'm going to be doing a lot of running today and that kind of thing. When they, when the bus got to the school and there was all the jeering and the big crowd out in front of the high school, the kids were really frightened because they didn't know how well they were going to be protected. They were hustled into the school quite quickly. And my impression is that they then became quite angry
once they got inside. Later as the day went on, I talked to some of the kids later and the kids were quite angry. They were outraged. Kids were saying things like we're just going to school is no reason for this. They were they were at the same time wondering how white kids being bused to Roxbury were going to be received, as well at Dorchester High. When the buses left and were stoned and I was on a bus this afternoon. At the end of the school day I was on a bus that was stoned. The kids, the bus I was on, no windows were smashed but the kids got pretty upset, needless to say. The bus was packed, there's nothing to do really. You look out the window, as far as I could see there were no cops between the bus and large groups of kids who were throwing whatever at that the windows. Was material hitting the bus? Yeah, we could hear it ricocheting off the bus and after a while I didn't look out the window anymore, I thought better of that. But then later as the buses began to come in with the windows, many many windows smashed in, and I think at least four windshields had been smashed -- Into this assembly area? Yeah, where they were changing onto the buses that would take
them home. It was really an atmosphere almost of hysteria. Kids were crying. Some people had been cut, and it was just utter confusion and hysteria which was managed, I think, pretty well by the monitors and the teachers who were there. They got the kids on the buses and home pretty quickly. But the kids then were just really semi-hysterical and very very angry. They were all saying we're never going back to South Boston and it was interesting because in the morning there had been this feeling, well I wonder how the white kids are being received in Dorchester. At that point the kids were all saying that they were absolutely certain. And as it turns out, they were right that nothing like that would have happened to the white kids going to Dorchester High. Diane? I went to Hyde Park High School. With white? With white and black high school students Hyde Park High School was... had about 300 black students last year. This year it was scheduled to have over 1000, so its a three fold increase. But it's not a high school that is just being integrated for the first time. I went from a neighborhood on the Mattapan-Dorchester border, which is supposed to have both
black and white students. I got to the bus stop in the morning and there was one lone, white student. The rest of the kids were black and there was probably about one third of those who are expected to ride the bus at the bus stop. The bus ride was very anti-climactic after all the rhetoric and the demonstrations about forced busing. It was really fairly quiet. The kids piled on the bus, and most of the black kids who were the majority, large majority. And I went to the back and people were just talking quietly without any apparent conversation or any intimation about the busing. And it was really very little that would lead you to believe this was a day different from any other except that there was only one white kid on the bus. The monitors - What do the monitors do? The bus monitor whom I assumed was the older gentleman sitting directly behind the bus driver paid absolutely no attention to anyone. He did not ask for identification cards or anything. He just sat there. I don't think he even looked to the left or the right as we get on. We rode the bus in, fairly quietly, with kids talking about what kids talk about. Boys
slash girls, cars hairdos, clothing, this sort of thing. And then the only indication that I saw of this tension, which I think was very much under the surface, was when we came around the final corner and you suddenly saw Hyde Park High School. And suddenly there's kind of this eruption of nervous chatter in the back of the bus from the black kids. Whom, many of whom, had the year before not been going to Hyde Park and going into Jeremiah Burke or the largely black schools in town. And one one boy shouted Open Sesame. And then they're saying things like look, there are already nigger kids on the block talking about each other in this way. Saying ah... There was no scene at Hyde Park I gather? No scene at all. It was very, very calm. There were no big groups of policemen. It was really a dramatic contrast to South Boston. Very few adults actually, except people who looked like teachers, a few priests. I want to get back to Greg - Once the the Black students were inside the high school, there was a small number of white students. Was there talk between the Black students and the white students once they get inside the
classrooms? None that I saw, of course it wasn't a normal day in any sense. There were no real classes. There were... I was told by one teacher that there were only about 100 kids in the school out of an expected enrollment of about 14 hundred. So there were no real classes. What were the teachers saying? Well as I understand it, the teachers were... well, what what they said varied, I suppose from teacher to teacher, but they were all a little bit nervous and tense about the whole situation and they, I suppose, were confused as to how to respond. One teacher, as I understand it, told the kids that, you know, the kids had said we're not coming back here. He said, well I wouldn't blame you if you didn't come back, and went on to say that he thought the teach... the kids were being used as pawns in what was basically a desirable goal of integrating the schools. But he said that long before this is achieved, the kids are just being used and likely to be hurt in the process. And I think pretty much discourage kids from coming back to South Boston. I'm not saying that he did this to thwart the desegregation, but it certainly he may well have - He may
well have had the kids safety in mind, that it could have that effect. You spent some time with some some kids who didn't go to school today, I understand. What were they talking... I spent some time with kids who left. It was only after, the - inside the school was remarkably efficient. I think kids got shuffled off of their classes fairly quickly. But those who did not have a schedule ready or who weren't registered properly were sent home. And I spent some time with a group of kids, hanging around basically. And it was there where a lot of hostility erupted. And one girl was very upset that she was in a home room with mostly Black kids, complaining this is supposed to be equal education. They were saying things like, no way I'm going to go back, they were complaining about the behavior of the Black students. We met a group of kids who come from English, were making very similar complaints, predicting, you know, race riots in the future was basically the tone of the talk. Well, thank you both very much. The story today seems to be one of numbers. 47,000 schoolchildren showed up out of an expected 70,000 today. Six arrests, 450 bus runs. But what are the
individuals. Reporter Joe Klein has a story on one of the numbers. One of the children for whom today was the first day of school. At 8 a.m. today, Claire O'Malley looked out across the Readville playground in the southernmost section of the city of Boston. It was empty. No kids, no parents. Not even the bus that was supposed to take the kids from white, working class Hyde Park to the Lewenberg Junior High School in black Mattapan. I wonder where everyone is, Claire said. She had hired on as a bus monitor, she said, because someone had to. And now it seemed her job would be frustratingly easy. I thought at least some people would show, she said. A lot of parents went over to the school for open house and they seemed pleased. They have a good, young faculty there. I thought at least some people would show. At 8:10, a spanking new yellow school bus arrived, but still no kids. Just as they were about to leave with an empty bus though, a young man with long blond hair came walking down the street. He app... approached the bus nonchalantly, hopped aboard as if it were nothing special. And like any other kid might, proceeded directly to the best seat on the bus. The last seat. His name was Jimmy
Glavin. He was 13 years old, in the eighth grade. And let it be recorded here that the kid who broke the school boycott in Hyde Park was no hero or crusader, just an ordinary kid who said he wanted to go to school, despite the advice of his parents and friends who warned him that there'd be riots and fistfights and untold disasters awaiting in Mattapan. Not that Jimmy wasn't frightened, he was. And he grew more frightened as the bus approached its second stop at the Colella playground. A group of parents stood with their kids. Hey look, said one. There's nobody on that bus, nobody sending their kids. And they pulled their kids back. The bus moved on, with Jimmy a lonely figure in the back seat. There were plenty of kids at the next stop - Turtle Pond Parkway. Coast Guard kids whose fathers were stationed at the Stony Brook Reservation and whose mothers weren't involved in the anti busing fight. The bus monitor who boarded with the kids said, these aren't Hyde Park kids. The local parents won't send theirs. The Coast Guard mothers didn't seem too upset though. They seemed like most mothers
at the end of summer vacation - relieved. Thank God for school said one. Now Jimmy had companions on the bus, but he still was a little frightened. Who knew what awaited at the Lewenberg. The bus made one last stop at the Dooley playground. But no one was there, and the bus began to move north through the center of Hyde Park, through Mattapan Square, and then up Blue Hill Avenue, with its plywood covered storefronts a symbol of the crime and violence the Hyde Park parents were afraid of. The Lewenberg School, a middle school which was all black last year, is located in a quiet neighborhood at the top of the hill. It was very quiet there this morning when Jimmy Glavin's bus pulled up. A few reporters, a few school officials, a few city youth workers. The kids quietly got off the bus and walked inside. We weren't allowed inside with them, but we were permitted to look around the Thompson School, a nearby middle school, which was which also was taking kids from Hyde Park. It seemed like a pretty typical opening day at the Thompson School. The halls were filled with the smell of chalk and pencils. The classrooms were neat and clean, the teachers were
teaching, the kids trying to stay awake. There are a lot of empty seats and not too many white kids, but it was quiet and orderly. At 2:30 this afternoon, the buses were lined up at Lewenberg again waiting to take the kids home. A group of older black youngsters hang... hung around the gates of the school and one of them said, this is something I got to see. I never thought I'd see white kids coming out of that school. A few minutes later he saw them. Not too many of them, but white kids all the same. Jimmy Glavin hopped on his bus, taking the backseat again and went home. When he got off at the Readville playground I asked him how the day had gone. He said it had gone pretty good. The teachers were okay, the Black students had been friendly, classrooms weren't as nice as those in the Rogers school where I'd gone last year, but he had no complaints. I asked if he planned to go to school tomorrow. Sure, he said why not. Thank you Joe. Thank you and goodnight. Good evening I'm Ed Baumeister. First from Louie Lyons, the top of the news.
Then, for the rest of the broadcast, an examination of the situation in Boston schools from Judy Stoia and Greg Pilkington, a reconstruction of what happened in the violence yesterday. From Peggy Murrell, the reaction of the Black community to yesterday's events. From Pam Bullard, a look at changes in the school situation since day one of desegregation. From Judy Stoia, a look at the effects of yesterday's events on other schools in Boston. From Pam Bullard, a story on the legal ramifications of what has happened, both short and long term. And from me, a story on where the top political leadership is in all this. From Boston, The Evening Compass your guide to... Violence in front of South Boston High School yesterday by no means totally disrupted Boston's school system. But the episode seems sure to have some long range meaning for the federally ordered desegregation of Boston schools.
The incident took place five days before the Boston School Committee has to file in court a more far reaching desegregation plan than the one which now brings Black students to South Boston. We have several reports tonight on the school situation. We begin with a reconstruction of what happened yesterday. Here is Judy Stoia. Tensions had been building for almost a week in South Boston before they... before they finally exploded into violence yesterday. It began with a fight in a machine shop on Monday. Then a scuffle in the girl's restroom on Tuesday. Wednesday there were fights in the cafeteria and in the library. By weeks end, aides tell me the storm warnings were out and it was clear that serious trouble could erupt at South Boston High School. Those predictions proved right, of course, when shortly after school opened yesterday a White student was knifed and a Black student charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. The word spread quickly in Southie. First, White students left the high school. By 11:00 yesterday morning a crowd of a few dozen at
the high school swelled to a few hundred. By noon it was several hundred. Men took off early from work to come there. Some longshoremen left their picket lines and walked up to the high school. Small contingents from East Boston and Charlestown heard the news and rushed over to Southie. South Boston mo- mothers and their boycotting youngsters, the stalwarts of the anti busing opposition, man their usual positions outside the high school. By one o'clock the milling crowd numbered fifteen hundred. And as the crowd grew so did its anger. They were waiting for the school buses to arrive to pick up the black students remaining inside. And many vowed those buses would not leave South Boston unscarred. Even Councillor Louise Day Hicks, the spearhead of the anti busing movement, could not quell the crowd's fury. As the end of the school day approached, the crowd's anger spread to include not only the Black students
inside the school, but the policeman outside as well. The tactical Patrol Force had returned to Southie, along with the State Police and the MDC and they seem badly outnumbered. Mounted Police rode into the crowd in an effort to split it, but they were met by bricks, bottles, eggs and verbal abuse. Missiles flew from the sidewalks, the back of the crowd, and from the rooftops. There were a few fights, a few arrests, but for the most part the demonstrators held their ground. A shout went up from part of the crowd on G Street and the sounds of breaking glass. In an instant three yellow school buses crested the hill and pulled up in front of the school. The windows were smashed and splintered, the floors littered with glass. Drivers huddled over their steering wheels or on the floor. The full fury of the crowd now seemed directed at the three buses. Then they pulled out empty. A frustrated mob stood staring at the departing bu- buses, realizing too late that these buses were decoys. The Black students had been let out a side door and sprinted down two flights of steps to buses waiting behind the school.
Before the South Boston demonstrators realized what had happened, the buses had arrived safely at the Bayside Mall. The students may have arrived at the Bayside Mall safely, but it was not calmly. The tension had been building among mothers and friends of the students who had been trapped for hours inside South Boston High. When the buses arrived, an almost hysterical mood prevailed. "Chill out! And they ran us off the buses and they ran us off of school and then they [inaudible] We had to walk all the way down [inaudible] We've got a brand new school out here and [inaudible]" "Them babies come over here. We ain't gonna let them babies get hurt. They come over here. No kids [inaudible] They come in here, they go out [inaudible]. Some kids can't even go to school over that [inaudible] [inaudible] Mayor White to do his job, and get out of [inaudible] he get in there and
do it. The buses, the students, their families, and friends were gone in a matter of minutes. They were obviously angry. But the people I talked to yesterday, as well as a couple of other parents and students this morning, had a clear focus for their anger. It was not directed toward the people of South Boston. There seemed to be a general tendency to dismiss them as beyond hope. The anger was directed toward the city, the police, and the school committee. They asked questions like why was the crowd allowed to swell over a thousand outside the high school and trap Black students inside. They seem to be saying that the people of South Boston aren't going to go along with desegregation and can't be expected to police themselves. Enforcement is the job of the city they seem to be saying and the city has let them down. Thomas Atkins, president of the Boston NAACP, said at a press
conference today that his talks with Black students and parents reveal that they are determined to continue attending school, but have expressed grave concern over the issue of safety. As a result, Atkins said that NAACP attorneys filed today for a hearing tomorrow morning in federal court that Pam Bullard will report on in a few minutes. We are committed to having Boston schools open and functional Atkins said. But if that cannot be done safely, we are asking that the schools be closed down not only to block students, but to all students. And that all students be reassigned to desegregated facilities throughout the city. Adkins said he considered this a repugnant alternative, but that if necessary, NAACP lawyers would ask the court to order the city to prepare a plan to this effect. State Representative Mel King echoed Atkins feeling that Black students involved in the desegregation battle are geared up to stick it out.
King was one of several Black leaders who met with Black South Boston High School students after their arrival back in Roxbury following yesterday's disturbances. The students, he said, discussed their feelings about returning to Southie. The kids decided they aren't going to let those people keep them from getting an education, King said. Adding If the schools are open they will go to the schools. Both King and Atkins strongly deplored yesterday's disruption in South Boston, placing blame on white leadership and underscoring the feeling that if Black students can't be educated safely, then the system should be halted until it can. I think it was the most bizarre and diabolical set of circumstances I've ever seen, said King. It was immoral and beastly. I say beastly because of their animal behavior, and immoral because the leaders there made no attempt to stop what was happening.
King added angrily, from now on if black kids can't go to school then no kids can go to school. Both Atkins and King allege that Whites in South Boston purposely instigated the violence that erupted Wednesday. ATkins at his press conference, specifically charged the powerful South Boston Home and School Association with holding a racist rally inside South Boston High School, encouraging scuffles between Black and White students, urging White students to boycott classes and other activities. Virginia Sheehy of the South Boston Home and School Association, contacted this evening, claims the rally was an assembly called for by students. When asked why there were only Whites at the rally, Ms Sheehy said it's not unusual for Black students to meet in an Afro-American society just for Blacks. So why is a Whites only meeting so extraordinary?
On encouraging students to boycott, MS. Sheehy said we don't tell them what to do. They make their own decisions. She said the charge of encouraging scuffles was absolutely false. State Senator-elect William Owens said he felt Boston Schools should be closed down until a peaceful solution to the desegregation controversy is found. However, Owens who is also Chairman of the Emergency Committee Against Racism in Education, the organizing group for the March Against Racism scheduled for downtown Boston on Saturday, said that the march will go on as planned and that he had no worries about interference. As I said at the outset, this new situation in the Boston schools comes about near an important court date, next Monday, when the final desegregation plan has to be filed. And as we've learned the NAACP want some short term action from the federal court. Pam Bullard has a story now on
the legal ramifications of what's happened. Yesterday's violence has spurned a call for further action by the attorneys for the black parents in the federal desegregation case. A special hearing before Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. is scheduled for tomorrow morning. The hearing, called by the plaintiffs, is considered extraordinary. The plaintiff Black parents will request the following things. State Troopers and National Guardsmen on the streets of South Boston and inside South Boston High School. A ban on all unauthorized persons inside schools, specifically members of the Boston Home and School Association. A ban on all gatherings of five or more people in South Boston, and a specific declaration against the use of racial epithets. What Judge Garrity will rule on these requests is of course not known but the plaintiff Black parents, according to their attorneys, are not about to back down. When I asked attorney Eric Van Loon if he might consider vacating South Boston from the desegregation, his response was quote, absolutely not. If
we have to put soldiers shoulder to shoulder in South Boston, we will. The law will be obeyed. While many will be watching what happens in the federal courthouse tomorrow morning, what happens in the Boston School Committee chambers in the afternoon is also significant. The committee will no doubt talk about the South Boston problems, but more important is what they will do about further desegregation. As they say the show must go on, and the committee is under a court order to file a second phase desegregation plan this Monday. That plan is being put together with the Educational Planning Center and at the heart of it is an opinion survey that will soon be made of parents asking them what types of educational approaches they prefer for their child. Traditional or flexible? The basis of the new desegregation plan that will involve all sections of the city is a choice of educational approaches, but not schools or location of schools. John Coakley of the Educational Planning Center has worked on the plan and offers this explanation. Program preference approach we're developing, most
particularly at the elementary level and also at the middle school level, less so with the high school level, is designed to give parents some choice of programs with the geographic zones of the city. It is not designed to give parents the choice of school. Parents would be asked to make the program preference. And then we would translate that program preference into a school assignment. The school assignment would be one such that the school was desegregated. What do you do, if say, the majority of the parents opt for a traditional approach? Give the majority of the parents - as a matter of fact we anticipate the majority of the parents opting for the traditional approach. What we are hoping is, that not the vast majority will opt that way. If they do there is enough flexibility, you know, a plan to accommodate most parents. We are however noting that when they opt for
traditional schools, the automatic programs, they're automatically opting for two schools, one for the lower elementary and one for the upper elementary. One school in an all White area, another school in an all Black area. if they opt for one of the less traditional programs, in all likelihood they are opting for only one school and that school will probably be in some area midpoint between predominantly Black and predominantly White geographic areas. So you're saying if a ch- if a parent opts for the traditional, the chances could be that the child could end up one or two years in say, East Boston and then another couple of years in Roxbury. That's correct. The question remaining is, will the school committee approve the plan and send it on to Judge Garrity. He has mentioned several times he wants the committee's approval on any desegregation plan. The committee has repeatedly refused to condone any form of
desegregation. Attorneys say now, however, that Judge Garrity could place the committee in contempt of court if they do not vote on the plan. The committee may chance it but it is doubtful that Superintendent William Leary would take such a chance. He, along with the committee, is a co-defendant and it is his staff that has worked tirelessly on the desegregation plan. When asked if he will submit the plan, even without the committee's approval, Superintendent Leary gives a curt no comment. But friends say he will, simply because he does not want to land in jail with the school committee. The political leadership of the state and city, the governor and the mayor, both of whom have been visible at various times during Boston's desegregation were both silent today. Neither man's office could tell me precisely why the mayor and the governor were silent. On the first day of court ordered busing, Mayor White reacted firmly to the stoning of school buses leaving South Boston. He appeared at City Hall at City Hall at 5 o'clock to personally denounce what had happened.
I don't intend to let this happen again. As isolated as this incident was. It was more than we, the whole people of this city, will permit. This week I promised the safety of all the children in the city. We kept that promise in 99 percent of the cases. But I promised 100 percent not 99. And that promise I intend to keep. I appeal to the leadership, particularly in South Boston, to act responsibly and pull the community together. And I serve notice tonight, beginning this evening and continuing tomorrow morning and as long as is necessary, the trouble making element, however small, will not be allowed to continue disruption. Today, a day after a more violent incident in South Boston, the mayor had no statement. And the governor who had publicly announced in October he was calling up the National Guard, similarly
had no comment. A spokesman for Governor Sargent said he had been in touch with the situation, but the governor, according to the spokesman, had no plans to issue a statement. So if the level of violence in the desegregation has gone up, the level of top official visibility has gone down. Thank you for joining us. Good night. Boston's story of desegregation is a story of resistance. As in the numerous
anti busing marches in recent years, the demonstration on City Hall Plaza two days before school was to open, brought the temper of the people of Boston to the forefront. I think they are angry, because we have been ignored and [inaudible] and their backs are up against the wall. Anti busing mothers and fathers shouted down their once favorite son, Ted Kennedy. He was forced to make a hasty retreat from an angry crowd that wanted no part of his liberal politics. Where, they asked, did his children to go to school. Desegregation was a long time coming to Boston. A federal court order finally bore through two decades of resistance. Boston was found guilty of willfully creating and perpetuating a segregated school system. As the nation watched, the long building wave of forced integration broke over Boston. Last September, the symbol of desegregation, the school bus, appeared on Boston streets. The reaction was predictable.
The anger has manifested itself throughout the desegregation. In the first days, there were isolated incidents of violence when school buses carrying Black children were stoned in South Boston. But elsewhere in the city, a calm prevailed and there was talk of surviving the desegregation. But on the streets of South Boston the trouble continued. For a week,there were daily confrontations between the police, students, and residents. Police escorted buses in and out of South Boston. Riot equipped officers formed a bizarre show of force on the streets of this American city. But the most persistent opposition to desegregation came from parents throughout the city who silently kept their children out of school in support of the White boycott. The attendance today was 321 Blacks, 50 Whites, and 11 of other minorities out of an estimated enrollment of 4000.
Some called the resistance blatant racism. Others said it was just parental concern. Whatever the motives, the resistance was real and it was strong. For the first two weeks, attendance throughout the system was low but slowly it began to climb. Although to this day it has not reached pre desegregation levels. With the attendance growing, so did the tension. In particular across town from South Boston in Hyde Park High School. What's the difference what school you go to? Because in our schools we don't have the supplies, we don't have books [inaudible] Then we start the busing [inaudible]. Could we help what goes on in the schools? No, I didn't say you did. I didn't say that at all. Hyde Park High erupted. The school was closed and members of the Ku Klux Klan had arrived in Boston. Although their presence was felt they failed to muster genuine support. But at the grassroots level the seeds of disruption and resistance were being planted throughout the city. East Boston and
Charlestown. Parts of the city not even affected by the busing held sympathy marches and boycotts for Hyde Park and South Boston. The resistance was spreading. South Boston still looked like it was under police occupation and the calm that was in other parts of the city those first few days had been broken. The mayor had a divided city and he and his staff began to question if desegregation could work in Boston. It was the disorder that made the headlines, despite the fact that only a few schools were actually disrupted those first weeks. Elsewhere at schools like the Lee School in Dorchester, Black and White children learn side by side. At the Martin Luther King School, all Black last year, the numbers of White children in attendance grew daily. So too at the Lewenberg in Mattapan. White and Black children were in integrated classrooms, and in most instances there was no serious trouble. This is how it was in most schools in the city and although the opposition never faltered, Boston began to relax.
Until October 2nd when violence flared inside South Boston High School. Then a fight in a South Boston bar between the Boston tactical police and local residents. Charges of police brutality. The following Monday a Black man was dragged from his car and beaten in South Boston. Black leaders gave up on city officials and called for federal marshals to bring order to the streets. A false fire alarm at English High School brought Black students out onto the streets, smashing cars disrupting traffic. Mayor White, now a defendant in the Federal Court case, called for federal marshals. Laws, not of men, passions or violence. The court has ruled that busing is the law in Boston and this city is under a federal court order. The Boston Police cannot implement this law alone. The request for Marshals was denied by Federal Judge Arthur Garrity. He ordered the mayor to call in all other police,
including the state police and if necessary the National Guard. The problems in Boston then surfaced at a press conference with President Gerald Ford, and the anti busing leaders secured another victory. The court decision in that case. in my judgment was not the best solution to quality education in Boston. I have consistently opposed forced busing to achieve racial balance as a solution to quality education. And therefore I respectfully disagree disagree with the judge's order. But, having said that.. With the State Police on the streets of south Boston, the tension in Hyde Park turned to bloodshed. A White student was stabbed allegedly by a Black student. Governor Francis Sargent urged President Ford to send federal troops into Boston.
The president denied the request until all local law enforcement personnel had been utilized. The governor called 450 National Guardsmen into the armories and standby alert for duty on the public streets of Boston. The chaos predicted by the resistance seemed to have arrived. For almost one month, the Guard waited. But with State Police and Boston Police in the troubled schools and lining the streets, they were never needed. Attendance remains citywide at about 75 percent. Statistics revealed a loss of 8000 White children from school rosters. Emotions were strained in all parts of the city. Apprehensively Black parents continued to put their children on the buses. So did some White parents. But for too many people it was a matter of segregation versus integration. And the students were left to deal with the fallout. Right now I'm just so confused. Between Mayor White and the rest them I really just feel like dropping out of society really. That's the way I feel. Not really though because we don't get a diploma going to school, we're gonna get it in the service.
Yeah I think it's the seniors really feel bad. You have a school ring and there won't be no prom, there's nothing going on but.. I mean it affects everybody, but the seniors really hurt. Throughout November the situation in Boston schools remain tense, but stable. Often police outnumbered students in Hyde Park in South Boston. Anti busing demonstrations continued in one of the strongest displays of resistance to forced desegregation in the United States. In South Boston many things remained as they were in September. The opposition was just as strong and streets lined with police only harden the community's hostility towards the desegregation order. The tension was stifling. And then on December 11, a White student was stabbed in South Boston High School, allegedly by a Black student. Racial hatred reared again. Crowds gathered in front of South Boston. Black students inside were hostage. Police were finally forced to run the students out a back door, down through backyards to waiting buses while an angry white crowd cried out for
revenge in front of the high school. All schools in the south Boston Roxbury High complex were closed until further notice. The trouble in South Boston brought new strength to the resistance. Three Boston school committee men, John Kerrigan John McDonough and Paul Ellison defied a federal court order to submit further desegregation plans. They said they would not be responsible for the death of a child brought on by forced integration. The federal court found them in contempt and they became the heroes of the resistance. The contempt citation was later dropped when they submitted a voluntary desegregation plan to the court. Fearing further trouble, Mayor White asked the court to shut down the South Boston High complex. The court refused and on the eve of the opening of South Boston High, almost a month after it was closed, Superintendent of Schools William Leary made his appeal to the people of Boston. The Boston Public Schools.
I have the legal and moral responsibility to provide an education to every boy and girl in this city. To close South Boston High would be an abdication of this responsibility. For this reason, I have not only directed that it be reopened, but requested our attorneys to file a motion in the federal court requiring those charged with the responsibility of public safety to take all necessary measures to maintain order and safety. I have every confidence that the... Anti busing forces in South Boston did not want to lose South Boston High. It was their school. They promised a smooth reopening and they kept their promise. The anti busing forces in South Boston had accomplished what the politicians, the police, and the courts could not. They kept Southie calm. But to this day it is an uneasy calm. The tension is still there, as it is in the Hyde Park. Police still escort buses and the police overtime budget for this school year will be equal to the overall
desegregation budget. And each day White resistance grows. The significant events of this school year have added fuel to the resistance. And it comes down very simply to this bottom line. Desegregation has not been a pleasant experience for Boston. Children at this public school are not involved in resistance to desegregation. For them this is the beginning of a typical school day at a public elementary school in Hyde Park. But here in Hyde Park many parents are balking at court ordered desegregation. In fact, they've taken it a step further and set up their own underground or alternative schools. These schools are not accredited and therefore they're not legal. Yet these schools are flourishing in Hyde Park and in South Boston and may set the pattern for similar alternative schools in other communities, if and when busing reaches them next fall We visited one such alternative school in the heart of Hyde Park this week. They meet in makeshift classrooms like these, usually in the basement or play room of
some sympathetic family. The teachers are accredited. Many were unable to find jobs in the Boston Public Schools last fall and they're paid. Mostly out of the $15 a week charged for the first child a family enrolls in the school. Ten dollars for each additional child. The curriculum is much the same as public schools, but the classes are smaller. And parents say their children are learning much more than they had in public schools. So here's a few of the things that we should know about latitude. The equator, the zero degree is the zero degree of latitude, right? We measure it north and south, and also the lines are parallel and they're never going to meet. What we found is that children who are transferred into these tutoring classes, who have previously attended the public schools, are way behind the children who have been attending these schools since we opened in September. What do you think prompted most parents to send their children here rather than just keep them out altogether? Well, many parents were against forced busing.
They are not resisting desegregation as the opposition would like to have a lot of people believe. What they're interested in is having their children receive a good quality education. And this is what really prompted many of the parents to send their children to these classes. I've been told by many parents that if busing disappeared tomorrow they would still keep their children in Hyde Park Academy because the quality of education that they will receive will be much better than that in the public school system. 125 White students now attend schools like this, mostly in Hyde Park and South Boston. But these schools may be the forerunner of a more sophisticated alternative school. Within the next several weeks, organizers hope to open Hyde Park Academy complete with the staff, its own building, and up to 500 students. The alternative schools like this one in Hyde Park are almost exclusively white. Leaders say they are against busing not
desegregation and that Black students are welcome to enroll. But there's also an alternative school for Black children in Boston, set up for many of the same reasons as the ones in Hyde Park. Parents are afraid to send their children into a hostile, perhaps dangerous environments and choose instead to set up their own schools. Many of the results are the same as well. Parents say they discovered that with or without busing, the public schools their children attended did not provide a quality education. That's a term that's cropped up a lot in the last several years. Quality education is a thread running through the whole tangle of desegregation issues. But perhaps it's come up most in the political, rather than the educational realm. The Boston NAACP calls upon all adults and those who yearn to be leaders to refrain from further inflammatory remarks or actions. We include the governor and Michael Dukakis, who must both refrain from politicizing
desegregation. When you consider that a majority of Boston's residents probably oppose the busing now going on, when you consider that the Ku Klux Klan got a sympathetic reception from some people in the city, when you consider that the gubernatorial candidate of the American party who ran on a strong anti busing platform carried South Boston. When you consider all this it is odd that in a year when Boston will elect a mayor, only one gold plated bonafide anti busing candidate has surfaced. The incumbent mayor Kevin White says he is against forced busing, but he asks with a federal court order, what can you do? The first announced major challenger to White is the Suffolk County Sheriff Thomas Eisenstat and when he announced for mayor last month he attacked the incumbent, not for his busing stand, but for White's quote arrogant and elitist administration dedicated to self service rather than public service. In other words, politics as usual. Only state representative Raymond Flynn of South Boston, who is expected to announce this week, is willing to
campaign principally on the busing issue. At a news conference last week Flynn said that if he were mayor he would refuse to pay for the costs of court ordered desegregation. Flynn is not the most popular of the anti busing politicians, a number of whom could run for mayor. But these other politicians have not yet announced any intentions to run for mayor. Unseating an incumbent is difficult, requires a good deal of lead time. And this incumbent mayor is already running his re-election machine. Where then with just six months to go until the city primary are the candidacies of the major anti busing politicians? Louise Day Hicks, who has run for mayor before and is visible on the city council, has been inscrutable. State Senator William Bulger has talked about considering running but hasn't announced. No member of the school committee seems about to come forward to run for mayor. There was a lot of talk about anti busing figures out of politics running for mayor. Such talk extends to radio talk master Avi Nelson, who for the record does not live in Boston.
He lives in Brookline. It is perplexing that the turbulent year of school desegregation has produced just one candidate willing to take on busing as his main issue. It may be that an anti busing stand in the view of the political professionals isn't enough to get someone elected mayor of the city. The way the busing story was covered outraged many in the city, especially those opposed to the court order. Editorially both of the city's mayor dailies, The Globe and The Herald American, urged compliance with the desegregation order. And when the morning editions of the papers hit the street after day one of school, it was evident that both dailies had thought long and hard about how they would cover the busing story. There was an obvious attempt at both papers to keep things in perspective. There had been violence on that first day, the stoning of the buses in South Boston. But neither paper emphasized the violence. Both emphasized that most Boston school children had gone to classes without incident. Both papers were immediately suspect in the eyes of anti busing
forces. The papers were at a minimum distrusted. They were not trusted to accurately report what foes of busing considered the bad news in desegregation. The Globe was particularly distrusted. There were calls in South Boston for a boycott of the paper. Shots were fired through the front window of The Globe building. A Globe delivery truck was commandeered and driven into the harbor. In South Boston and in other parts of the city, anti busing parents set up their own information centers. These functioned primarily as centers for resistance, but they reflected as well a disbelief that the papers in the city's official information center weren't dispensing the truth. An odd thing about the newspaper's controlled coverage, their attempt at putting the violence and resistance in some kind of context. It was a new departure in papers which had in the past prominently featured stories of violence, particularly Hearst's Herald American. Most of the anti media feeling in the early days, it seems now to have settled down to a quiet mistrust, was
directed against the newspapers rather than at the television stations. Some worried though about the implications of such a massive media presence. The story was covered by news gathering operations as diverse as the British Broadcasting Company and the daily newspaper in Shreveport, Louisiana. The headmaster of South Boston High School worried, for example, what the coverage would do to the students who did show up at his heavily boycotted school. Keep my kids off the camera. You are, you're putting them on cameras [inaudible] And if we want to take a picture we will. We've got a job to do. And these kids have to live in the neighborhood. We realize that. There is compliance with the order to desegregate but that is a very quiet story. Each day thousands of school children, black and white, board buses to travel to an integrated school. As is the case in other desegregating cities across the country, the compliance is more peaceful at the elementary school level.
For many of these children this is the first time they have been in an integrated classroom. The desegregation that began last fall is only the first step. If anyone believes the worst is over, they are mistaken. Last September only 80 of the city's 200 schools were desegregated. This September, all schools throughout Boston, including East Boston and Charlestown will be desegregated. Having a minority population between 30 and 50 percent. Every one of the city's 87,000 schoolchildren should be in an integrated classroom. But this will entail the busing of students into the heart of Roxbury, which was not done this last year and is viewed by many as a major problem in the upcoming desegregation. The tremendous problems in trying to accomplish that, if for no other reason than that the problems that this school faces are the product of the conditions in the neighborhood, which cannot readily be changed. These conditions
conditions reflected in housing, the economic level of the neighborhood, the instability of some of the homes. These are the conditions which presently prevent this school from being a better school than it is. And I'm afraid that these conditions would influence any student body, regardless of color. For the Black community the desegregation represents the beginning of the end of a long battle for quality education. Or if not quality education, at least as good an education as White children receive. Black leaders say now that for the first time their children have adequate supplies and good teachers. They assert that no matter how strong the resistance they will continue to put their children on the buses. By far the Black community has been a lot quieter than the White community has. We haven't had seven hundred horses and dogs and police and state police troopers outside of schools in Roxbury.
That shows you something, a forebearance and a willingness to go through this on the part of the Black community. And for all the meetings and all the speeches, and all the interviews, It's those mothers that kept putting the kids on the bus. I think they're going to make the process work. To have that kind of faith. After your child comes home with glass in his hair to put him back on the bus. They're going to make it work after all the rest of us are gone. You think more black kids will start going now? I hope so. If they don't, it's their fault. They're missing out on an education long as I get mine, and a piece of paper thats saying Chris Mitchell is out of high school. You're going to college. Throughout the desegregation. there has been a growing push to metropolitanize, to involve the suburbs in the desegregation process. Boston already has programs that bring inner city Black students together with students from surrounding cities and towns. But anti busing forces want more suburban involvement. This is prohibited at this time by a Supreme Court decision
striking down the busing of students across city lines. Within the next few weeks Boston will know exactly how it is to desegregate its schools this September. Court appointed masters are finalizing a plan right now. It will entail the busing of more than 30,000 White and Black students from all areas of the city. Only eighteen thousand students require transportation this school year. But the desegregation of the Boston Public Schools does not deal only in the shuffling of students. It goes to the very heart of the Boston Public School System. The federal court in its ruling found not only that the city had segregated its students into white and black schools but had also segregated its teachers. Prior to the desegregation order last June, fifty-nine of the city's 201 schools had majority Black enrollments. Of the 356 Black teachers in the school system, 75 percent of them were assigned to those 59 majority Black schools. Half of the black teachers were assigned to schools that were more than 90 percent Black. What this meant for children in schools that were all White, was that they never
saw a Black teacher or a Black student. So too was the situation with Black administrators, Black principals, headmasters and their assistants were always assigned to the majority Black schools. The segregation was complete in the courts' view from students to administrators to teachers. There were basically two systems, ruled the court. One Black, one White. That was ordered split apart. And last September that process began, and it will continue this September. Many Black teachers were reassigned last fall. They were transferred to schools, which before the court order, had never had a Black teacher. Administrators were also transferred. What the court found to be just as damaging as the segregation was that the most inexperienced teachers, Black and White, were in the majority black schools. This was for the most part due to the fact that White teachers with that experience had the option to transfer and most of the experience White teachers opted for the White schools. Therefore the beginning teachers were assigned to the Black schools. The court order has tried to slow this process. Experienced
teachers are no longer exclusively assigned to the majority White schools. The federal court also found that Boston was deficient in its hiring of Black personnel, with fewer than 400 of the city's 5000 teachers being Black. The system has been ordered by the court to use a one to one hiring policy. For each White teacher hired, a Black teacher must be hired. This is a process that has been used in other desegregating school systems. What this all means is that desegregation goes far deeper than simply busing. It is the reordering of an entire school system. Boston, the oldest and once considered finest school system in the nation, is now regarded as one of the worst. Many look to desegregation as a way to improve and update an archaic school system. Others warn that the desegregation could be the death knell for Boston. That it will be the reason the White population flees to the suburbs, leaving Boston a majority black city. Whether this will happen is the subject of speculation. One fact is not speculation however, and that is that desegregation costs money. The tab for this
school year is estimated to approach $20 million dollars. Half of that will be for police and security. And next year that figure is expected to go even higher. And it is to this September that everyone is looking. With the entire system desegregating, resistance is expected to be stronger than we have seen this year. Can the desegregation order be stopped? There are two ways. Federal Judge Garrity's order could be reversed. His ruling was based on 20 years of law and precedent in desegregation cases. The Court of Appeals has already upheld his findings. The ruling is on appeal to the Supreme Court and attorneys doubt very much an appeal will be successful. The other way to stop the desegregation is to have Washington approve anti busing legislation. Although the movement has been strong, it is considered a long shot. The Congress is more liberal this year than last and desegregation lawyers doubt that such legislation would affect a federal desegregation order already underway. a\As September and complete desegregation approaches, Boston juggles a delicate balance. On one side as the resistance, on the other is the Court. They have
both had their victories somewhere in the middle of the White and Black schoolchildren of Boston. What will their victories be in September?
Evening Compass. The
Evening Compass clips. [1974-75]
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Episode Description
A compilation of three Evening Compass shows from 1974-75. Evening Compass newscast from September 12, 1974. Paul deGive reports on the first day of school at the Rochambeau Elementary School. He reports that some parents, including Barbara King (local resident), are keeping their children out of school for fear of violence. Judy Stoia reports on the peaceful opening of the Martin Luther King School. Greg Pilkington and Diane Dumanoski report on their experiences riding buses with students to and from South Boston High School and Hyde Park High School. The bus Pilkington rode on was stoned in South Boston. Pilkington and Dumanoski report on the reactions of students. Joe Klein reports on the first day of school for Jimmy Glavin, a Hyde Park resident bused to the Lewenberg School in Mattapan. Klein reports that Glavin says that he will return to school tomorrow. Evening Compass newscast from December 12, 1974. Stoia reports on a violent mob gathered outside South Boston High School after the stabbing of a white student by an African American student. Stoia reports on clashes between the crowd and police. Pilkington reports from the Bayside Mall, where African American students arrived on buses after being trapped for several hours in South Boston High School. The students and their parents are angry and frightened. Peggy Murrell reports on the reactions of Thomas Atkins (President, NAACP) and Mel King (State Representative) to the violence at South Boston High School. Murrell reports that Atkins and King say that schools should be shut down if the safety of African American students cannot be guaranteed. Pam Bullard reports that the plaintiffs in the Boston school desegregation case (Morgan v. Hennigan) will demand that the federal court increase safety measures for African American students in South Boston. She also reports on a pending deadline for the Boston School Committee to file a school desegregation plan for 1975. Bullard notes that the School Committee risks being held in contempt of court if it does not file a plan. Evening Compass special from March 14, 1975. Pam Bullard reviews the major events concerning the desegregation of Boston schools in 1974. Her report includes footage and still photos of key figures and events in the busing crisis. Judy Stoia reports on an alternative school in Hyde Park, created by white parents to avoid busing, and on an alternative school for African American students. White parents at the alternative school in Hyde Park say that African American students are welcome to attend their school. Baumeister reports on Raymond Flynn, the only mayoral candidate to campaign on an anti-busing platform. Baumeister also analyzes busing coverage by The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald American. Bullard reports on the school desegregation plan for the 1975-76 school year. Her report includes comments by Peter Ingeneri (Area Superintendent, Dearborn District), Isaac Graves (Manager, Roxbury Little City Hall), and Chris Mitchell (student). She reports on segregation among Boston school faculty and administrators, and on plans to integrate school faculty in 1975. End credits reflect personnel working on all Evening Compass shows for the weeks of December 12, 1974 and March 14, 1975.
Riots; Boston (Mass.). School Committee; South Boston High School; School integration; Busing for school integration; African American high school students; school violence
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Chicago: “Evening Compass. The; Evening Compass clips. [1974-75],” 1974-09-12, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 19, 2024,
MLA: “Evening Compass. The; Evening Compass clips. [1974-75].” 1974-09-12. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 19, 2024. <>.
APA: Evening Compass. The; Evening Compass clips. [1974-75]. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from