The Evening Compass; Boston School Report
Some violence and more arrests than yesterday. In a moment we'll have an official briefing on what happened today from the white administration and the school department. We're not expecting the mayor himself at this briefing. Ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. Again we'd like to thank the media for this opportunity to keep the public of Boston informed that Boston's desegregation effort. We would ask that you please hold your questions until we have finished our opening presentation so that we may keep them clear and expedite them or more quickly. We will divide our presentation in two parts. First John Copley in the Boston school department on my left will explain the attendance in the schools today and then we will proceed to a presentation from the gentleman on his left. Robert Kiley deputy mayor of the city of Boston
and then the gentleman on his left. Superintendent Joseph Jordan of the Boston Police Department who was in charge of the Bureau of field personnel and on his left is deputy superintendent childs Berry who was the area commander in District 6 in 11 which includes of course South Boston. And for our school presentation and to John Coakley the Boston school department. I'd like you to know that 54000 students attended. Classes today in the Boston schools in grades 1 through 12. That number is out of a projected enrollment of approximately 80000 students for grades 1 through 12. So that sixty seven point four percent of our students were in attendance today. That is a slight increase over yesterday's figures where approximately 66 percent of the
students who should have been enrolled in attendance. Generally speaking the attendance flaw followed somewhat the same pattern as yesterday. There was however a decrease in the enrollment in South Boston Roxbury High School and a slight decrease or a continued decrease in enrollment in the gap. And McCormick middle schools and in the south Boston elementary schools but there were increases. Nothing terribly dramatic in all the other schools. The result being that we at least slightly increased our enrollment today. I would think that the position of the superintendent and others in the school department would be that we more than held our own on attendance about 65 percent of the high school
students were in attendance. About 64 percent of the middle school students. And about seventy one percent of the elementary youngsters were in attendance today. We continue to have as is normal in an opening period. We continue to have some programming and scheduling matters to complete in our high schools. We are hopeful that the weekend will give us some opportunity to complete the scheduling and guidance matters in the secondary schools so that we can get beyond that point and into the issue of education. OK. Thank you John for an over view of the events of today. Robert Kiley deputy mayor. By and large the the day through and past the closing of school
seems to have been again a relatively calm one. There were isolated incidents throughout the city. The most significant or I guess I should say well-reported of them having happened in front of the old colony project Columbia Road in South Boston in connection with those incidents. There have been 16 arrests nine of which took place. On Columbia Road. I know that two of them are related to a stoning incident. In Rossendale. Superintendent Jordan will get into more detail on those. We have reports of two injuries that required hospital attention treatment and release. There have been reports of other minor injuries which did not require treatment. I can't really give you an accurate number on that point. I should say that we do get calls from concerned parents who do report children who have been bruised or in tussles at school. You do get to a certain point where it becomes difficult to
sort out what I want to say routine school day occurrences but problems that do occur within school grounds and the best of circumstances and those which are related to the tension surrounding the desegregation plan. One thing we're obviously troubled by the fact that there are still incidents and working to contain them control them or eliminate them. We think that there's no such thing as an acceptable level of incidents in connection with the court plan. We learn a little bit each day about how we might deploy police personnel and other personnel in order to deter people who perpetrate incidents as well as to pursue perpetrators when incidents are created on that score I might mention that all of us who have been observing the various scenes have been struck by the fact that many people involved in incidents are very very young people. People in the
10 to 13 or 14 year old age group which is troublesome we would hope that that parents in particular would seek to exert some some control over that age group might be a little a little more understandable if older older youngsters or people were moving up. But it is troubling to see people so young and involved in incidents I think on that score it might be well if we turned it over to Superintendent Jordan to get into a little more detail on the incidents in question. Well again today from a police view went very well. There were some minor incidents in South Boston. I think that the police did a good job. Governor any here on my left was in direct control of all the men who were deployed in the Boston area. We had four arrest outside of South Boston early this morning
and we had nine arrests on Columbia Road weather stoning incident occurred. We found that from the police bureau the mood and emotion of the people had been reduced somewhat from yesterday. We know that it's going to take time to implement this decision fully. But there are signs that the people the good people are good people of South Boston are now reducing that tension and that a few more days I'm sure that we can get most of the students back to the proper schools that they've been assigned. Again we we certainly want to assure all the citizens of our city that the most objective of the police department is to make sure that students in our city are transported from one location to another in safety and that I'm sure the all all the good citizens of our city really
deplore the acts of anybody who would pick up a rock or a stone and throw it at a bus. So I'm sure that next week we will be in a position to effectively be more effective and certainly we hope that the these incidents that occur are going to be down to zero and that we can report to you that the school busing desegregation plan has been fully implemented in the city of Boston. Now I'd like to turn to Deputy Superintendent Charles Berry and tell you some of the performance of his men today in South Boston. So when we begin this morning at 6:00 we felt that we had the necessary manpower excellent equipment and some of the finest communications that police department can have. Our goal of course in our planning centered around one thing and that is that no child
would be hurt. And up until about 2:30 this afternoon that goal was almost within reach as it was yesterday at the corner of Haiti. Pardon me. G Street and Columbia Road. A young person throw a rock at the bus causing a minor injury. That was the only incident outside of the fact that you must consider that the weather as far as the policeman was concerned was against us. It was very warm. About 90 to 90 92 degrees. It's very humid. And there were many many hundreds hundreds of people on the strand way date Boulevard and Kasson beach. And it doesn't take too much on a day like today to cause the people to get out on the strand way. The buses did attract attention. There were about 200 people that come out of the old colony project and the policemen did move them back over
towards the project and we left then the people left. Just one other incident that occurred and that was on the Rossendale area where two young youths were arrested for throwing a missile at a bus and they were both delinquents and they were both books. So again hopefully we're going to be able to reduce these incidents and just to be able to reassure all the citizens of Boston that we're going to be able to transport our students and safety from any part of the city. That I ask you have you had any contact with. Garraty relative to the proposed inaudible ACP request for U.S. Marshals to come and take over the situation here in Boston. No. Have you had any understanding. Of Garraty or his office that there may be a delay before he takes action. I'm not aware. That. For a. Judge.
The question is Mr. Copley. Have you had contact with Judge guarantee's office relative to that proposed case. No we haven't and we wouldn't. And there were there was a formal opportunity to do so. Our officers did contact Thomas Atkins who was the. President of the local branch of the NAACP who says that the delay he didn't file today because he's delaying it because of all the paperwork it takes to file but he still intends to file if and when he does file with Judge Gary. What stance would the city take and how will the operate. Our position is that local authority is more than competent to handle the situation as we see it now. Yes I know that. I know you feel that way but which. Which way when you go into the Corporation Council is ready now to go to court and ask the judge refused if the corporation counsel is in court on that issue. He clearly will argue that that that the city has adequate authority and means at its disposal to deal with with the situation
marshals board these buses for desegregation. I am not sure that the presence of marshals aboard the buses would hurt the desegregation effort. The question is whether it would help. You feel that their presence would help. I really I'm not. It's not clear to me how their presence would help. But I make a quick comment. A guy having a bachelor of policeman on a bus in my humble opinion is not is not going to prevent the person being stone cold. I wonder how satisfied you are that these figures which are much more complete that we had yesterday at this time are accurate. I noticed for instance on the Boston Latin. Show that the actual attendance was greater than the projected enrollment.
The difference in the attendance and the enrollment is approximately 12 students. It would be my opinion that we are probably having one very close to 100 percent attendance at the. School. Generally speaking the attendance rate at Latin school throughout the average is over 93 percent per day. Secondly I for one don't consider twelve point twelve student difference. They have to be a significant one. They have projections which have been given you for all these schools are based on projections made on July 19. So I really think that we're out on the mark on that one. What caused the communications link today between South Boston and your communications center downstairs. In one instance. The wire services moved the story on the on the stoning incident out near the housing project before
it was even verified downstairs. Now that takes a little little time to do. Why was there such a communications breakdown if there was one. I myself was at the site of the incident and in touch with the information center almost literally as the incident was unfolding craft's UPI was on the scene as well and was quicker on the draw. But I like since I wasn't in the Information Center I can't account for the exact time situation but my impression was that it moved very quickly of the information. It absolutely did yeah. The comment on that that I'd say that from the time we received information from the scene which was almost instantaneous or just maybe a minute behind it was relayed up here instantly. There was no delay. I'm aware that there may have been a discrepancy in figures from time to time. That's inevitable in a rush of events in a quickly fluid developing situation. But there was no delay. I'm certain of that. Superintendent I want to ask whether what the mood wasn't something most we had rules that the police force to my group going around groups three that we heard about yesterday
when I wasn't feeling was of the people in the community. Well again I think that the people in the community. Well what happened yesterday know I think most of them are. Ashamed of some of the actions of some of the young people over there. I think today that they show that they were willing to cooperate. They moved when the police asked them to. And as I said I think the mood was entirely different than yesterday. Just explain how the grouping came about and how it came about. Yes. Well again I think that as the buses moved down the hill onto onto the boulevard there there was a group of people who were being moved by the police and they just suddenly turned and started towards the buses and some of them had a misfile in the end it was so small you couldn't even detect occur almost the same location does the incident yesterday at that location. No it did not. It wasn't within a block or two. Not always it was on the other
side of the street. Yes it was the other side of the street and further up. Superintendent would you mind you utilized a new approach to security today. Over yesterday's approach. What's the strategic philosophical difference between the two and how would you compare them. Well yesterday some of that group were in shouting distance of the buses as they come in. And there was a decision made that that this all of this court order was going to be implemented and that we wanted do it in a very quiet and orderly manner so that the decision was made that no groups would be allowed to congregate in or around on me any of the schools. I think that was the difference today that indicated to the police that the people of South Boston are going to comply. We know they're unhappy with the decision but I'm sure that time is going to comply with it. What about the security along the bus routes. Superintendent of the black
community has complained that the security is not as complete along the route as it is in the vicinity of the school thus permitting the stoning incident. Well we we did also increase the security along the route of the buses today. And as I said that. The incident that happened today in many cases would make any difference whether you had ten thousand men they couldn't prevent it. But I think that the attitude and the mood of the people are changing and I'm sure that next week we'll be able to benefit from some of the things we've learned the past couple of days just to keep the youngster under escort. Yes. Roslindale and in South Boston I'm not sure. I don't think it was in of Boston that we're familiar with your reluctance in the police department to give out information about what you're going to do but you changed your tactics from Thursday or Friday when the new tactics on Monday. Yes I will. Well done of the meeting going on the situation. All the field commanders all the command personnel within our
department will be in discussing the situation and we'll be listening for some advice some new strategy to come out of them in order for some of your men one being an effort to keep your forces peaceful in itself. And I will certainly will I will try to maintain a maximum number of personnel on the street that will be able to meet any kind of an emergency engage in that Basra in the staging areas. Is he going to name her. I had a pretty good idea about this time where the buses had exactly what time. That's under consideration. Consideration. However between yesterday and today there was some discussion on that point. With the toll road and figure for yesterday was about 66 percent and a one a very slightly today to about 68 percent. What is the. Enrollment percentage. What was the enrollment percentage in the 80 impacted schools
yesterday and what was that figure today. I don't have that. Particular. With me. My feeling is that. Since some of the impact that schools were up. In the south Boston rocks pretty complex that there was a slight decrease in the enrollment. And what you're referring to is the impact that schools follow are looking at some of the other impacted schools impacted being schools affected by the desegregation plan. I think they the numbers held reasonably well. Probably you and other people here have made some some very positive comments about the actions of the police force and the restraint on the part of the people in South Boston. What kind of words would you have for the black community in a situation where there is for the last two days been a clear and present danger for their children going to school
those children that are going to school in South Boston. My question is what kind of vice would you have for black parents Sunday night when they have to make the decision whether or not to send children. I think that people in most communities in this city and particularly in the black community have shown. Remarkable patience forbearance in the case of the black community determination. To see the plan effected and to see their children educated. I know that that it must be difficult for any parent particularly who is who is sending a child to an area where there have been incidents. To continue to to support that original decision. I can only say that. That in a situation where some. 18000 students are being transported about the city in a fashion that is completely unprecedented in this city there is bound to be some disorder inconvenience frustration and
even anger. That from the point of view of the black community there has been a. Struggle going on for some time for many years to get to a situation where desegregation can occur and I would think that would be in the spirit of that effort over the past years to see this through. I personally don't feel that the security climate in the city has anywhere nearly approached a situation where there is a where there is danger. There are troublesome spots. There have been incidents. Of course they trouble us. We're working to reduce them and we have some cautious optimism that we can continue on an upward path. Do you have any way to get your coronation through your Public Safety Task Force with the organizers community organizers within the Old Colony housing project. Yes there are contacts in the project through the Boston Housing Authority as well as through
other social agencies working in the area. And as I understand it they are there in or around the project to try to talk to people because really it's happening there and the Community Organizing Network. Is there any project any connection between the two. Yes. I mean seemed to me they should have known that that area was being used to stage some sort of an attack on the bus. Well I don't know that the area was being used to stage an attack. I think as both superintendent Jordan and Deputy Berry have indicated there were people who came up from the beaches in a disorganized fashion. There were also people in the project who were drawn out toward Columbia Road by the buses. They had not been congregating for any great length of time. And out of that came a few missiles one of which did strike this target and cause us a splinter to enter the foot of a youngster. Good morning Rob. From the police in the area.
I'm not sure where the first report came from overcrowed movement. I think the crowd was moving as the buses approached that point. Greenwald told us Monday. Well this particular area had more police than they did today in the event such should occur again. We are in the process starting tonight tomorrow and Sunday reevaluating the overall plan and no doubt there will be a change in the deployment of personnel whether or not it calls for a an increase or decrease in that area. I can't say right now but we will not be on the surface of things that have real drastic in that direction. I think it will be a changing in the placement of the personnel. Otherwise you will consider the serial dangerous
area for us. We are going by so we will we did today. But this just is a spontaneous almost spontaneous. Thing that occurred to us has arrived and then the policemen were moving small groups along. And this caused others to just spontaneous and if you were president there today you would see that the police reaction to this situation was immediate and with enough personnel to quell things very very quickly. We moved out and everybody went. Into Jordan you said at the outset of this conference that you hope the next few days to get those units back to their assigned schools you really feel that with the additional police that are being deployed to South Boston you're going to feel the presence of Boston to send their children to school. Well I probably was not amiss when I said a few days I think that is you know. So. What degree has not been received happily by
citizens of our community. I think that South Boston has demonstrated a great deal of hostility towards it. I think that when you take that as been mentioned by the having and some of the gentlemen here today yesterday when you saw that almost. 99 percent complied with this court order that I think we can be sort of optimistic that within a verdict time everybody will have a chance to diffuse his frustrations and comply with the order and if I said a few of these may have been a little optimistic but I think that that was the first out of high school. 61 students in attendance. Now I was in South Boston High School this morning at about 9:30. And together with some other monitors we counted about 28 students in attendance throughout the school. Now last night you made a statement when the superintendent made a statement that he felt a good program of structure was in progress. At. Our.
Schools. Do you think you can still make that statement today. There were a number of. Things that I went into there maybe one at the most with three students. And why don't you just comment on what I said. The. Statistics which were reported by the. South Boston High School to the superintendent's office I would stand by. Thirty two white students 25 black students four students of other minorities for a total of 61. I cannot say that I personally counted them and I would have to stand by the figure of the. Headmaster's office on the matter of education going on in schools. I think the comment made last night was that we did feel on that first day of school that the educational process. I had gotten in virtually all of the schools in all our classrooms. I for one.
As a parent. As a resident of the city at a school press I do all and do feel that our education goes on as a result of an interaction of a significant number of students and teachers. So I am hopeful that we will work toward increasing those numbers and. More increasing the educational interaction. The other question gentlemen. OK. Thank you. There are more than gentleman and lady. Repeat First Boston school report. Tunie trail to TONIGHT at 11:00 today's live broadcast has come to you from Boston City Hall. Control and information center during this. Period of desegregation
- The Evening Compass
- Boston School Report
- Contributing Organization
- WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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- Episode Description
- Evening Compass special. Press conference at Boston City Hall during the second week of Phase I desegregation of Boston schools. Frank Tivnan (Director of Communications for Mayor Kevin White) introduces the speakers at the press conference. John Coakley (Boston School Department) gives school attendance figures and analyzes trends in attendance. Robert Kiley (Deputy Mayor, City of Boston) reports that sixteen people were arrested in South Boston and Roslindale today. Kiley voices his concern about the number of young people involved in violent incidents. Joseph Jordan (Superintendent, Boston School Department) and Charles Barry (Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Department) report that a bus was stoned while passing the Old Colony Housing Project in South Boston. Jordan and Barry report that 200 people were gathered outside of the housing project in the afternoon. Jordan is optimistic that the tension in South Boston will abate. The officials take questions from reporters about school attendance, police tactics in South Boston and the safety of bus routes.
- Race; race relations; Boston (Mass.) History; School integration; Community and school United States
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- Moving Image
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Identifier: 676196e7bfc7a4dc08533a1cc27caa6f8423d2bb (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
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- Chicago: “The Evening Compass; Boston School Report,” 1974-09-13, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 1, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-9ft8dj6m.
- MLA: “The Evening Compass; Boston School Report.” 1974-09-13. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 1, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-9ft8dj6m>.
- APA: The Evening Compass; Boston School Report. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-15-9ft8dj6m