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Here Boston maybe you can many ways but it is not unique that it can avoid the big page of the Constitution. From the channel to the 10 o'clock news. With Steve nervous. Good evening. A day that has brought the most peaceful opening for the Boston public schools at least three years. Tonight's 10 o'clock news becomes a special report on this day in the schools and what it is meant for young people as well as adults. Attendance in the schools is up 10 percent today compared with last year. And after the young people have gone home. Boston school superintendent was exultant. I we've had no arrests no suspensions. And we have had. No destruction. And the programs of instruction. There are no words that I could use that would adequately describe my pride. In the students. Parents. And
administrators. And I want my heartfelt thanks. Any violence appears to have been limited to incidents away from school property. This morning there was trouble and we will have more about that in a moment. Assistant school superintendent Charles left which revealed trouble that came after school with. The report I have there was that worst. And that one window was broken. We're going from south Boston to Roxbury. So it's a tougher policy than in past years. It is only lawful or illegal in any way from anybody.
City officials bit their lips while they marveled at the call as the buses rolled toward dozens of schools the children filed out and then into their classrooms. South Boston had won a reputation as the place where the segregation had worked least well. But in recent days there has been growing concern about Charles Town. Gary Griffith was standing by there this morning. It seemed that the calm predicted for Boston would hold this morning even in Charlestown. There were no helicopters buzzing overhead this year no mounted policeman no riot helmets at first no famous newspaper columnists. Only one network television crew and perhaps most significant of all very few adults. The seven yellow buses arrived and departed without incident and it was clear early in the day that there would be no total boycott by whites. A crowd of about a hundred fifty congregated at the head of Concord Street mostly students accompanied by two or three adults wearing Charlestown powderkeg jackets and then this seemed so familiar last year played itself out.
Oh. Concord Street was cleared once forcing the crowd back across Bunker Hill Street for a long faceoff. And like last year there was little animosity toward the media. But like last year several bottles were eventually thrown one of which hit a federal marshal in the ankle. And again the police were called in to clear the area. While attendance was being taken into homeroom. The cops in the crowd played cat and mouse on Bunker Hill Street. One hundred twenty three white students showed up for classes here today with 57 black and minority students. A total of 190 of the five hundred fifty two students enrolled and attend 40 this morning this year's first busing related arrests took place at Bunker Hill in Monument Avenue when 17 year old Robert Powers was charged with being disorderly for throwing a missile. Gary Griffith the Charlestown High School. Our education reporter Pamela Bullard has spent unusual number of her working hours in and around
South Boston High School in recent years. It was the symbol of resistance to desegregation long before the segregated condition of the city's schools was ever challenged in court today. It was back at a familiar place but there were changes. In previous years the hate and anger the fear of violence and the violence made South Boston a frightening place to be when the buses rolled. But not today. Boston police were not in their riot gear. State police were not marching in front and only 40 were inside. Doors were not locked tight and guarded crowds were not screaming or fighting with police. Black Journalists were present and Mounted Police. Well there wasn't even the need to saddle up this year. The resistance is still here as the precautions but compared to this community's last two opening days South Boston was a comfortable peaceful place to be today. Only the ninth graders were scheduled to arrive today. One hundred twenty eight out of four hundred sixty six showed up. But the mood mattered
more today than numbers. Black students arrived with smiles. The fierce anxiety of the past was gone today. The new court ordered headmaster Jerome or nigger said he was pleased with this first day. In other areas of south Boston white students waited nonchalantly with their parents for buses. These southeast students were heading for the Devore school at Columbia Point. A school that in past years has had only a handful of South Boston neighbors in attendance. It cannot be said this is the dawn of a new era in desegregation in south thing. It can be said that at least today it was different. Pamela Bullard in South Boston.
Security around the schools this year was not as visible as in the past of the quiet on the streets this first day of phase two baby Rose reflected in the faces of police. We're out in force they had an easy day for the most part. The tension of past years just was not there. Boston police state police and the MDC were on alert at staging areas and so was the tactical patrol force. But for the most part being on standby was the order of the day. Helmets were carried not worn and police officers saw other police officers out for I'd a lot of conversation. In fact police commissioner DeGrazia toured neighborhoods where there had been trouble in the past and he even managed to crack a smile. Save for the brief flurry of trouble in Charles Town. It was that kind of day. Tonight in Boston there was little trouble police in both Charles Town and South Boston have kept people from congregating on street corners and thus far there have been no incidents. Some weeks ago the Boston teachers union was offering dire predictions of a teacher shortage this month.
It was attributing that forecast a school committee plans for a cutback in the teaching force. Today we wanted to find out if the shortages might materialize and did some checking. He says there were none. And here is what he found. Here at the Charles E. Mackey middle school in the south and one of the citywide magnet schools where staffing problems were expected to be most serious the school year started off with plenty of teachers. The ratio today was one teacher for every 18 students. We don't think that we have some classes which have as many as 30 students in them. But we don't have many of those just wanted to. Most of our classes have. An average of. Right around. 25. To 30 students and. Of course the bilingual classes have. Fewer.
Than that. I had the first question right in the midst of it proving that you can make if you were a rich person. To other magnet schools where problems had been expected were saved at the last minute. The king school in Dorchester by the courts which ordered the school fully staffed and Boston technical school by the school department where full staffing was ordered at least until September 23rd. Superintendent Marion Fay he said this afternoon that no staffing problems were reported at any city schools on the first day. And that situation could change in the next few weeks if enrollment goes up significantly. I Cowen at the Maquis school in the south and. Recently delivered a live interview.
The modern science fiction story. Magnet schools are the centerpieces of the federal desegregation plan for Boston judge Geraghty who drafted the plan calls the magnets the true heart of desegregation rather magnet schools must remain aware of racial guidelines most of the students come voluntarily. There are 21 such schools in Boston and Pamela brother takes us to one of them. It is one of the largest and most elaborate high schools in the city. English by the name belongs to one of the city's oldest and most noted schools opened in his multi-million-dollar status three years ago. The school has had only minor problems. Today the area was as in the past free of police as students easily came and went. The school attracted the state's commissioner of education who had visited other schools this morning. Thing that's encouraging is the normalcy of it all. Within an hour of the starting of school the kids are getting their schedules handed out and ready to go to class summer we get are I
getting there homework already I think that's healthy. And they're moaning and groaning about it. So I think that's a good sign for a good school year. I think the key issue that I was looking for is will the school you're going under way quickly and peacefully and if it appears at least that that's happening there's today's opening of schools an indication I think we're in for a really fine year. I know that we're ready for two academic programs that we haven't ventured in the past and we're ready to give the kids the opportunity to to pursue their educational goals as quickly as possible. But the one thing that we always worry about of course is a smooth opening school I think we had one this morning. The school inside has a free atmosphere although there appears no strict conduct guidelines. There is a backbone of discipline. Today students were busy squaring away schedules getting accustomed to the building attending first classes. Over fourteen hundred of the expected 21:00 students were in school this first day. The course offerings here are extensive from ceramics to business to Dramatic Arts.
I asked headmaster Peter Bergen if he believed that even in the face of opposition magnet schools like English could successfully draw and keep students. I think it can I think you can do it on a voluntary basis but it's going to cost a lot of work and it's going to cost us a lot of money. It's going to cost us a lot of manpower. Our magnet programs are very substantial. We try to have a number of Magen programs rather than just one because I feel that one magnet program can only draw on one segment of students. We have two or three and we think that they drop students on a voluntary basis. I think that if we are able to assess the needs and desires of the communities in Boston and design magnets around those designers and we will be able to bone to voluntarily integrate the schools. Boston's historical opposition to voluntary desegregation helped bring on the forced desegregation from looking at the normal first day excitement and the high enrollment here. Some of that longstanding resistance appears to have given way to the programs at the end of the bus ride. Pamela Bullard at English High.
Under pressure from new laws and Judge Garrity Boston is fresh attention to the needs of handicapped youngsters. Some have physical disabilities but other simply speak a language that is not English. Growled at the Grover Cleveland Middle School in Dorchester where attendance today was exceptionally high. The program for Hispanic young people is one of the attractions for the 400 bilingual students are expected in Boston schools this year. In the past bilingual staffing has not conform to state law the state law calls for a pupil teacher ratio of 15 to one. If a class size exceeds 20 then by lingual aide is also required. This year the school committee has added 30 to bilingual teachers and for the first time will conform with state law. The thirty two new assignments bring a total of bilingual teachers in the city up to two hundred forty three. There are one hundred twenty nine aides. Here at the Grover Cleveland school there are four regular bilingual teachers one special needs bilingual teacher and two aides.
When this school Spanish speaking program began five years ago there were 15 students and one instructor today. Forty three students came to the program and that number will probably double within the month. Last year 79 youngsters completed the program which emphasizes reading and writing skills speak in listening skills are the easiest of skills to learn especially for a young person a child especially today in the environment of living in which they see hear it constantly around them even though they don't might not speak a very well and the TV helps a lot. Television Radio helps tremendously. Reading and writing is where they do not do a lot. In fact almost none. And that's what they always like behind about two or three grade levels and our job really is to get kids get the kids out of bilingual program as soon as possible. Last year out of a total We probably got out 40 which is a very big number. For our job is to teach the children reading and writing skills and skills as soon as possible and to get them out of
class into regular programs. Different schools concentrate on different languages for example the Grover Cleveland handle Spanish speaking students the Lunenburg French speaking youngsters predominantly from Haiti. The goal of all English a second language classes is the same. To mainstream bilingual students into regular classrooms. Karen Geiger at the Grover Cleveland middle school Dorchester. We don't hear so much about the boycott anymore but for some Boston families it continues. Since segregation arrived 9000 children have left the Boston school system a part of that number is in private schools and so on the problem. Yes there are some young people who don't go to school at all.
Five generations of muse have lived in this home in Charlestown. The children have all attended Charlestown schools until last year Bobbie Comair attended the school the war in Prescott but then Bobbie like many of his neighborhood friends was assigned to the temple of the school in Roxbury. He did not go last year and he will not attend this year. As far as Bobby is concerned the reason is simple and sensible. I go to school across the street and went up the street. Do you have many friends who chose to go to the gym. I went over to the temple to school. And I didn't say anything the other would you know I can see the difference from the turmoil to the Edwards really and at least here I know where he is this is his town and I don't have to worry about him. And I couldn't I couldn't I know I could never sleep. You know I'd be over if I sent him out of I. Guess. What about the problems with. What about Bobby's education Bobby's future.
I don't think this had much learning going on Him schools really. Everybody I've talked about and I went up to high school myself. There's nothing going on up there. Now what did you do all last year them. Most of the school play baseball. What about as far as your studies did you work on your studies at all. Yes. We're in the house and on the first front. Well you do this year. Last year we had a tutor and even though it was only a few hours each week they learn more than they would have if they were in school. And a better education they also learned religion with it at the same time. Which to me was good. They weren't letting the hatred. That they're getting in the schools. Find that you get a little bored not going to school. Yeah. Definitely. Bobby's mother and his neighbors say they will fight to stay in Charlestown fight against the high taxes and what they call judicial tyranny.
And Bobby Kamiya and many more like him will continue the fight alongside their parents and outside the city's schools. The Roosevelt family of Roxbury did send its children to school today. One son went all the way to Charlestown. A daughter is an English High Court order desegregation is not new to the places who sent two children to formerly all white schools where the family lived in Montgomery Alabama. Steve Cohen spoke with part of the family today. F. RICE I was reluctant to send them out there. Here now the stuff that was happening you know out there. And after. Loretta had gone out there. She seemed to like a lot of the white parents are keeping their kids home while black is too young. Why did you send your kids to school so that people know. Where. This is. I thought. That if I didn't send them. This is what they wanted me to do in
a way to keep my child at home. But. I much rather see her going to school again and try to get a good education. Because you're not going get one at home roaming the streets anything. Before desegregation. Mrs. Price's daughter Loretta went to the predominantly black Timothy Middle School which is just a short walk from her house. She didn't like Charles Town as much as the penalty but she counts the experience there is an important part of her education. You know if you go to my school and we used to go and teach you anyways you're going home to do more than what you learn anyways what you learn in English. Because they want to. Just like. This year Loretta is attending English High School. After one day hosting was compared Charles Town. What about the plain. English.
This is Steve Kerr in Roxbury. The best he has ever seen. That's how the headmaster of a High Park High School describes the attitude of his students. Michael Donato reports absolutely no tension. While the headmaster was using words like
sensational to describe the atmosphere reporter our call was finding greater caution among members of the student body. That's because. When you force people to do something or want to do. It's not right. I mean. And there's going to be tension. Like a good person you know you have to go to something. You know. You know. People you know some kids don't know what's going on and they just got the wrong idea. Just something so anybody gets. You know. Upset about this and. Then that's when the trouble starts. You know and then next you know it's a fake. Do you think will be troubled Asian blood. There
probably will be a better way. You just today there wasn't that much attention. So I think. You know me just as Kaiser yesterday. Was a chance for a fight. I think in order for school. To work. Properly. To students to make it work. For. Kids. Tonight. Two different. Groups of. Different races. If they don't get along. Can you make them. Come on that's the question that's what the does with this is all about. The pound some places it might some places. Some places are you know just. Simple. I think Boston just one of those places are. Just going to school spirit just not really here to keep the school going which
the school cops to call out of school. I do. You know around this table the blacks over here and into whites over there. And one of the other friends Creole. I. Know is that. White I don't know I don't know. You've been together all day you know me. Yeah we've been together well that's how we work together. But. There's one side black on one side. Black does just have my right. Stuff. Everybody's separated. You know. I want to go see my friends and all the friends over there on that side. Not just if you're going to talk to the school
just separates you know just separates. In the world outside of Boston the day has finally been agreed upon for the first of those presidential debates September 23rd or Thursday. But there will be an attempt to block them the American Party has filed suit. And if the debate clears legal hurdles it will begin at 9:30 on September 23rd and be aired live from Philadelphia for 90 minutes. The Ford campaign said today that Ronald Reagan will actively campaign for the president. Nothing has been finalized the Reagan will be making a series of speeches on President Ford's behalf. While I was on my way to cover mayor Wright City Hall the news conference this afternoon an aide to the mayor called our newsroom to say I would not be welcome. And when I arrived Kevin White's new secretary George Reagan attempt to dissuade me from entering the room designated for the press conference along with other reporters men who appeared to be plain clothes police officers barred my way. I walked around them and once inside was told by regular the mayor did not want me there because he didn't
think I could be objective. That may or may not have something to do with the series of investigative reports about the rights campaign fund raising which I broadcast last fall. As a journalist. I have one my guess is that I'm afraid if you want to move me. If you were the right one to say OK thank you then the microphone and may have been trying to turn it off. First. It would appear. You want to listen. Yeah. You're. Right seem determined not to answer my questions about the school budget. The decision of a grand jury not to indict anyone in a case involving former director
John Warner and violence. So I tried a different tack. You have the right to decide which reporters covering news conferences do not. Yes I do. On the Today reporters have a hard time getting the news. But when a public official he has the right to exclude certain reporters at a news conference because of his opinion of them as the public official new issues probably First Amendment issues. The fairness of reporters is certainly an issue for public debate and there is no reason for reporters who work the same public arena as politicians to have a thinner skin than public officials when it comes to legitimate criticism. And if the interview with a reporter that might be arguable but it seems a different matter. What if a public official to exclude on something
Ten O'Clock News
School opens in Boston
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Episode Description
First day of school in Boston, Phase IIB of court ordered desegregation. 1) Superintendent Marion Fahey is proud of faculty and students. Associate superintendent Charles Leftwich reports van and three buses were stoned. Mayor Kevin White says unlawful conduct will not be tolerated. 2) Gary Griffith reports on opening commotion at Charlestown High. One-third of enrolled students show up. Federal marshals and police outside. One arrest for disorderly conduct. Neighborhood crowd gathers in street. 3) Pamela Bullard at South Boston High. Black students get off bus to less tension than last year. Police are present but not in riot gear. 4) Art Cohen at Mackey Middle School where teacher student ratio is 1:18. Principal Lloyd Leake. 5) Bullard on magnet program encompassing 21 schools. Exterior, interior of English High. Gregory Anrig, state commissioner of education. Headmaster William Peterkin. 6) Karin Giger on bilingual program at Grover Cleveland Middle School. 7) Bullard talks to boycotting (white) Cormiers of Charlestown. Mother keeps son out of Timilty School where he was assigned to be bused; he has part-time tutoring. 8) Steve Curwood talks to participating (black) Price family from Roxbury, whose children are bused to white neighborhoods. 9) 5 Hyde Park High students, 3 minority, 2 white, discuss racial separation inside school. They expect conflict to be less than last year. 10) Steve Nevas was almost thwarted from covering a Kevin White press conference because mayor felt Nevas could not be objective. (He had investigated fundraising in White campaign.) White attempts to disassemble Channel 2 microphone and asserts he can exclude any reporter from access. Ed Baumeister says this raises First Amendment issue.
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Ten O'Clock News was a nightly news show, featuring reports, news stories, and interviews on current events in Boston and the world.
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Fahey, Marion; White, Kevin H.; first day of school; schools; School integration; Police; Arrest (Police methods); Magnet schools; students
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Publisher: WGBH Educational Foundation
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Duration: 00:28:50;00
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Chicago: “Ten O'Clock News; School opens in Boston,” 1976-09-08, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 30, 2022,
MLA: “Ten O'Clock News; School opens in Boston.” 1976-09-08. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 30, 2022. <>.
APA: Ten O'Clock News; School opens in Boston. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from