WGBH Journal; East Boston / South Boston Headmaster
Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal I'm Amy sans tonight updates from East Boston and South Boston High School headmasters troubles at New Boston University service again the Kennedy Library opening on Saturday elicits enthusiasm from opening organizers and apprehension from Dorchester residents and finally excerpts from a speech by co-authors of a book on Boston school desegregation. All of that right after a look at the local news. Violence in Boston's Public Schools continued for the third day today as disturbances and protests spread to East Boston. Early in the day two buses carrying black students to a high school and an elementary school in East Boston were stoned for white teenagers were taken into custody. Meanwhile about one hundred twenty five white students from East Boston high school held a rally outside city hall demanding increased school security after a stabbing incident in the school yesterday. The students wanted to see Mayor Kevin White but instead met with school deputy superintendent Robert Donohue in a meeting at which they demanded that metal detectors be installed at East Boston high to keep weapons out of the school. DONAHUE
told them that the school's principal would consider the request. The school Department meanwhile says that security at the city's public schools will not be increased by the number of security monitors present at the schools. But instead by the deployment of person no school department spokesperson Fred for any school security. Yeah yeah. Based on redeployment of the proper security personnel carriers increase our bureau and every security. Yes obviously increase the Brocken. So you're saying theirs by means of a redeployment that means moving people around rather than putting new people on is that correct. Yes because it is impossible to keep night increase a security force for the Boston school 100 workers at the general dynamic shipyard will be laid off next Tuesday according to company
spokesperson Joseph Warner. The layoffs are part of a planned cutback in the workforce at General Dynamics as a result of the phasing out of the liquid natural gas tanker program. Treasury Secretary William Miller spoke today at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston on the Federal Reserve's decision to cut the supply of money in circulation as an anti inflation measure. Miller said that the bitter medicine prescribed by the Federal Reserve will not produce the side effect of a deeper than expected recession. He said the recession should be moderate even after this action because the economy is relatively balanced unquote. The Federal Aviation Administration has made a decision on that long awaited takeoff pattern for Logan International Airport. The FAA met with the Massachusetts congressional delegation today in Washington and announced an over the water route for planes leaving the airport. The new flight plan means aircraft will reach an altitude of at least 7000 feet before they fly over populated areas. Officials say it will greatly reduce noise near the airport.
Finally an international relief organization says it plans a 50 million dollar fundraiser to feed the estimated 3.5 million people in war torn Cambodia. At a news conference at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government James Howard a technical officer with Oxfam said he recently returned from Cambodia and conditions there were as horrific and as bad as if not worse than anything I've seen in Bangladesh India and be off. Oxfam began in England in 1982 as the Oxford committee for famine relief Howard proposed a nationwide fund drive be made in quote a spirit of friendship from the American people to save the lives of Cambodian some of whom Americans lived with until such a short time ago. And that's the local news.
He's Boston High School has never had much in the way of racial trouble before. The neighborhood has been virtually excluded from the city city's desegregation busing plan in part because of its distance from Boston's black neighborhoods. But with this morning's flare up East Boston high became the school in the news as the city went through its third day of racial violence in the schools. The East Boston high administration is dealing with the violence very diplomatically yesterday after a white student was stabbed in a fight with a black student. HEADMASTER Carmen scarper called an all school assembly in an effort to get simmering tensions verbal evented today Scapa told us that after the morning's riot he met with six representatives of the demonstrators and promised a series of three assemblies and a faculty student administrators representative meeting for tomorrow. Sure you want one they want to like the fact that. We have one like that we're in today they had a very
very rough. We thank you. But they wanted to know what we have today. Why would I preach. Three separate class families so we can in the long run around time already don't you know they don't they don't play on with school today or it is not free from members of the faculty. Then after that we will ban me I think a great committee and faculty. We're working with the right Scarpa said he thinks the morning's negotiations helped ease tension pointing to the fact that buses of black students left the school without incident this afternoon. Meanwhile South Boston High School was quiet today is only one hundred fifty students came to school headmaster Jerome weniger told us this afternoon that he doesn't see any
end to racial tension in the school until people he would not name stop exploiting the situation. Boston most large middle class working class communities. You know where we have a home. System of control and power and authority and pest generally relates to politics or in any number of things that politics is the one that comes to the front. A lot of what has happened as far south Boston is concerned maybe in case the whole desegregation plan of Boston instead of helping people learn to understand their similarities and learn how to understand each other and what kind of problems each group has what we have done is maintain the divisiveness by feeding the fear and feeding the affray apprehension anxiety and to showing how we are different than talking about color and talking about you know music and not panic
davits which. Stead of helping people understand that we have some similarities in our and our needs to get along and are nice to share in a society and needs to build on what we spend our time dividing. When we divide we have power over people. Can you be more specifically things been doing. No not really. OK off the record I can tell you've been done. But that's but no I won't be ok. If we're going to get these people to have to have the goods on him and it can't be any you know I'm not going to give you anything that's that's my opinion at this point on that matter. There's been also a lot a lot of complaints about media coverage. And you were just talking about do you feel that people generally in Boston tend towards encouraging divisiveness. I am wondering why do you feel the media does that and how do you think specifically the media can. Act to encourage more understanding and I don't think the media
encourages it necessarily the problem is that they talk to the people who are willing to talk to them. And most k. It is the people who are positive and I want to talk. They don't want to be harassed. They don't want to be bothered I mean you can't find a positive person in South Boston to talk with you because their windows have been knocked out the tires and tires would be slashed at their kids and they have ran to be called names in the grocery store. I mean people don't need that and so they just they just don't come out and say anything positive and off even though they will call me themselves and say hey I support you I think you're doing good. We got to do something about this that when I come up front with it they can't. And that's true in all kinds of places. The same kind of harassment to a lesser extent possibly in the black community although by and large the bike community has been more up front about things. They're there generally if there have positive things to say that will be the same. However it's been my experience in life that the people who are always going to complain are the ones who have something negative to say. You're not going to get the people who have something positive to say and say much to him when a group of South
Boston High School. Internal dissension in the labor strife in a low student faculty morale set the pace for a meeting of Boston University trustees today. Yesterday the Boston Globe reported that four trustees resigned and at least one was removed as a result of the way the university administration handled labor relations. The faculty union at be you today asked individual trustees to meet with the faculty after the trustees meeting to discuss those labor problems. Greg Fitzgerald prepared this report on the background of the turmoil at Boston University and how the university is dealing with it. During the past academic year Boston University has been faced with four bitter strikes. Each of them taking its toll on the morale of students and workers at the university. Last winter a building and ground strikes at the pace for what was to become a strike torn spring and summer in May. Members of the faculty struck after an agreement reached with management to go she was
rejected by the trustees following the faculty strike. Members of the university clerical workers union that's district 65 walked off their jobs because the university refused to recognize the union despite the fact that the NLRB had certified the Union. At the same time District 9 25 the library workers were in the same situation and accordingly acted in parallel with district 65. Presently all the university's employees are back on the job now but the wounds may during the spring and summer were deep wants and there are still ugly scars. Six faculty members some of them tenured face disciplinary action because they refused to cross district 65 picket line and all the faculty now has a contract. It may soon file an unfair labor practice because the university they say is not implementing certain parts of the contract. Accordingly they asked trustees today to meet with them after their meeting. Professor James Garland is the president of the faculty union. This is what he told me he wanted to express to the trustees educationally this is a good
place but it's in danger. And we think in effect if the Board of Trustees expressed the fact that the president threw a bait to try to make peace with the faculty and the other groups to act reasonably in the sharing of decision making power and the family agreement that they made. I think that would be the most. Point thing that they could do and perhaps to become more informed about what life is like here at Boston University and I think the two things would work together. Specifically what other breaking under the under the Oracle system we fear. There are just too many times when faculty advice would be ignored either individually or as part of faculty committees that he would hear from them and go ahead and do what he wanted to do. I think specifically Now some of the things that are being violated the agreed upon systems for
the distribution of salary raises to faculty including things like merit raises equity to bring people up to par who had been underpaid for many years. We think that the he does the dismissal notices that were sent out too. To junior faculty were really carelessly done and probably incorrectly done. You see that the problems of the president and the trustees affecting it the faculty union. How do you see that affecting the educational crisis in the U. Well you see you can never run any kind of a program whether it's in a factory or a school or social agency or anything like that with people who are tense who are insecure about their futures who are feeling that they can't depend on their superiors to look out for their own reasonable needs for stability and employment for adequate compensation. But perhaps most of all who cannot look to their
leadership for respect as one academician to another. And I think that in a sense is bound to take its toll in the sense of distraction. Very stress those kinds of things. Now it's. Not to say that this is not a good university I think it is and the administration is constantly trying to accuse a piece specifically their favorite scapegoat these days running the university and we're certainly not doing that. We think there's a fine education offered here that we wouldn't be raising so much hell frankly if we weren't terribly concerned about the dangers for the quality of our education. But it too affected it too. James Garland head of Boston University's Faculty Union at a press conference about 90 minutes ago Robert Bergenheim representing the trustees denied Muriel Cohen's Boston Globe story which said that members of the trustees board resigned because of dissension over the way labor problems were handled by the administration. He then proceeded to blast members of the media for
what he felt was distorted coverage of Boston University. We're going to I'm told reporters two of the trustees resigned because they had too many other pressing commitments. And the two others simply left their terms expire without seeking renewal. No one was removed said Bergenheim when faculty members attempted to discuss labor problems with trustees before their meeting today. The trustees according to faculty spokesperson seemed intimidated and none of them agreed to meet with faculty after the meeting. In the meantime the faculty union will file probably tomorrow an unfair labor practice for what they consider to be the lack of progress in implementing the contract for GBH Journal. I'm Greg Fitzgerald. On Saturday President Carter will be in town to participate in the dedication of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library at Columbia Point. He'll be joined by thousands of invited guests and
dignitaries and literally surrounded by Kennedys. Now Walker has this report on preparations for the ceremony. The planning for Saturday's ceremony began last July and the place where all the details are being worked out is an 11th floor office in downtown Boston. The string of rooms resemble a campaign office of sorts. Bare walls cluttered desks phones ringing laughter. Even the volunteers look like politicos. I saw more than one type in fashion to resemble the P.T. 109 and the very atmosphere of the room is charged with for lack of a better word Kennedy. I spoke with Angelica Lee a coordinator of the ceremony who described her job as a labor of love. Oh well the pain this week. You cannot believe in a crisis like everything else there are certain things that go wrong. Now last night my program came in it was printed incorrectly. So you know now where I don't know what we're doing with it it's so late. Then of course everybody wants to come to the dedication.
I never off the hook. And yet people. I guess find it hard to believe that there are 7000 invited guests in there I need tickets you know that sort of thing. And then the staging has to be having the Boston Symphony Boston Pops Orchestra and the staging because of the press there they had all these ropes across it. You can have that kind of stage and so we had to redesign a whole new platform and staging for the orchestra. I mean those are the types of things we've had from the downtown office. I went on to Columbia Point and the site itself the library building is massive presidential but informal its glass facade faces the harbor. There were swarms of workmen planting shrubs cleaning glass piecing the platform together. And amid all this activity I found Dan Fenn the director of the library. It's sort of like three days before Christmas around here when you have 14 master lists and you're making it up and losing a lot of activity out front here there are erecting a platform for the
guests and a television and radio and. And those people and putting the chairs out and began to erect the tents to serve lunch to 7000 people. And then little stands. For. Distributing literature and that kind of thing. But it looks also like people are working actually on the building and the exhibits I mean I see men all over the roof and people sandblasting what kind of things are going on these last minute. Well I think when you set a date and this date was firmly set last July then you're bound to find a kind of last minute and rushes and that is what's going on. They are finishing the roof of the glass pavilion They're behind you and down in the exhibit area they're installing the last last items kind of cleaning up the
cases the central space where the desk is going. It's a replica of President Kennedy's desk since President Carter is using the real one but they're polishing that and they're putting the objects on it that were actually on it when he left for Dallas in November 1963. It really isn't a question though of whether whether it will be done it's just a question of how will it be done you know it has to be done Friday night and it will be. Give me an idea here this is it's just a basically a wooden platform with looks like two layers. President Carter and Senator Kennedy going to be sitting near each other are they going to actually be together during the ceremony. Oh I would I would expect so. The senator is going to take the president through a little tour before the ceremony starts. Have a cup of coffee and cheer on the exhibits. What kind of an event is this for you on one hand it might seem to it must be exhilarating it's
something you've worked on to fruition and I mean other hand it must be if it sounds like that not you know I don't feel it so. Saturday marks the completion of anything. You know this isn't like a piece of writing which you publish and you hope people like it but there's not much you can do because it's done. This is much more like the launching of a ship. We're going to full what trim the sails will adjust the location of the blocks. I feel much more at the beginning of something than at the completion of it. Speaking of platforms presidents and the launching of ships I asked Fenn and Lee and all the workman if we should expect another Kennedy at the helm. They all said wait and see for GBH Journal. I knew Walker the library itself will house all of President Kennedy's papers and mementos facility has been much talked about for many reasons its design its purpose its cost but most of all its Dorchester location. You may remember that it was originally slated
for Harvard Square. So Lisa Mullins and Louis Porter talked with Columbia Point residence this afternoon about the library's final location. I think you have a very positive effect on the community in terms of transportation. I'm not sure what it means in terms of what the library is going to offer the community I really think the people are very excited about it and everything else and I think the big question is what is the county library going to do for us. You know how is it going to really help the community. Everybody else is a beautiful building. And we really want to know what else or whatever kind of impact is it going to have on us I think it's a good idea to have something town here and it's accessible avi's people I think is a very good idea. Send us a look at some other place to go oversize you know hanging aside a project do you think in your town be used. Well I took my daughter over to visit. She might learn. Yeah I think you did it. It looks pretty nice so
they like it I think about getting a job and see what they could do it I think is the greatest thing they'll ever be around here to help out the people around this neighborhood a beautiful thing that's happening. People are beginning to look at Columbia Point all over again there's a lot of plans in the process to turn this place around to something horrible and Peninsular over here looks good these people take great pride in living at Columbia Point I'm certain the Kennedy Library being young and the UMass being is a great impact in that positive change taking do you think people are right about property values going up at all and placing them out of their homes. I think that concern is here but I think in the overall plan with a lot of folks have taken that inconsideration we don't really want to take anybody move them out of here. We want them to stay here and become part of the whole thing that's going on around here. How come they're going to kick us out the fraud to live I don't know they're going to do that. They are. Upper class white middle class. They are. My nose is golden brown. If you look at the whole way I'm looking at it. You have you mastered just they just put
over there and you had a big Kennedy Library. OK now that means one thing. All right. That's over there the people all over here. They spent millions and millions of dollars on their library and that school and haven't done a damn thing over here as far as the black people are concerned. Just living in this projects the way I see it I think they're I think they're running they're running the people out of the community who think it's inevitable that most of the people in this area will be moved out because of the economics of this area. It's a rich area especially now that the library and UMass is there. I think it's a good idea that they have a library out here for the kids that live here seeing that they don't have you know many places out here. Oh I've got to go and see it. I didn't get to see it the other day. I think it is wonderful for the community. You know after they get all the you know the buildings. Renovated. And you take that money and put it in these
apartments. They were doing anything about these apartments. They got the money and are not doing anything. So it doesn't make any difference. But we do. Lisa Mullins and Louis porter with Columbia Point residents. Former TV news staffers Pamela Bowden Judy's story have followed school desegregation in Boston from the very beginning. Now they've written a book on the subject. And last night they spoke at the Cambridge forum. I've talked to a lot of people from around the country who have an image of Boston schools as being very violent. As a matter of fact 0 out of 200 two schools in Boston that first year there is violence or two maybe three.
But the violence was such a major and was so appalling to most people that it gave Boston the image of the city of violence a city of rage to some extent Of course that's true. But I think it's not true to say that most people in Boston and most communities resist busing resist forced integration and certainly it's not true to say that most communities neighborhoods in Boston actively have organized themselves to do that. In fact the matter is that a couple of communities have organized themselves very effectively and continue to do so and have a voice that outweighs their numbers. Well what happened to most of the people who perhaps reluctantly sent their children to school in the past five years under school desegregation. I had couple of things happen first of all
they didn't have the people who did not want to resist integration or who were in favor of it had no political voice there was no politician in the city of Boston who stood up and said integration is right. I want to lead the desegregation effort you know rally behind me. What did happen is a key political figure said precisely the opposite. They said follow me and I can promise you that your child will never be bust some people fall and that no one took up the call. No political leader of major influence in the city took up the call of of the parent who wanted to stand his or her child to school on a bus or who is willing to do it. As I say perhaps reluctantly Judy's story and Pamela Bullard at last night's Cambridge forum.
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