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South Boston High School students in the WGBH studio

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Summary
Judy Stoia is in the studio with a group of South Boston High School students. Several students read prepared pieces about their experiences on the opening day of school, while one describes his experience of being an African American student bused into South Boston High School.

Topics
Busing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Catholic Church, Mass media, Newspapers, Segregation in education--Law and legislation--United States, Segregation, Segregation in education--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Civil rights, Morgan v. Hennigan
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Log

3:02:25: Three South Boston High School seniors sit in the studio. Ed Baumeister reports that buses from Charlestown to Roxbury High School were empty. Baumeister and Paul deGive introduce show. Credits roll. Baumeister reports that all schools will be open again tomorrow; that crews are standing by to cover any breaking news during the broadcast. DeGive reports that a number of buses (between 11% - 23%) failed to show or were late for pickups; that the school department says that transportation problems will be resolved by tomorrow. Baumeister reports that there were no injuries, suspensions or arrests in schools; that 80 people were arrested on the streets; that 77 members of the Committee Against Racism were arrested for disorderly conduct on a bus route in South Boston. DeGive reports that officials are calling the opening day a success. Visual: Footage of Arthur Gartland (Citywide Coordinating Council) saying that the schools opened successfully; that attendance was lower than projected; that police patrols assured the safety of students in schools; that he hopes attendance figures will rise.

3:04:48: Gary Griffith reports from police headquarters. Griffith reports that two white males were arrested for possession of molotov cocktails in Roslindale; that two molotov cocktails were thrown at the Prescott School in Charlestown; that firefighters at the Prescott School were stoned by youths who fled the scene; that a group of 60 youth were heading toward Cleary Square in Charlestown with anti-busing signs; that two motorcades of 100 cars each were reported in South Boston and Charlestown; that a crowd in South Boston was throwing objects at police motorcycle units; that there is a fire at 83 Beal Street in Brookline, the birthplace of John F. Kennedy; that the fire on Beal Street may have been started by a molotov cocktail.

3:06:52: Paul deGive reports that opening day at Charlestown High School was uneventful; that helicopters circled overhead and a sharpshooter was posted on the roof; that US Marshals were present. DeGive reports that some white students broke the boycott and attended school; that 66 African American students arrived without incident. V: Footage of media crews at the foot of the Bunker Hill Monument; of a sharpshooter on the roof of Charlestown High School; of US Marshals headed toward the school; of white students entering the school; of African American students exiting buses and entering the school. DeGive reports that there were frequent confrontations between Charlestown residents and police on Bunker Hill Street; that 400 police were present; that they were kept busy dispersing crowds of residents. DeGive reports that 8 police officers on motorcycles bore down with little warning on a group of 30 demonstrators sitting down on Bunker Hill Street; that the demonstrators took refuge in the Bunker Hill Housing Project; that police and media followed the demonstrators into the housing project where angry crowds had gathered. DeGive reports that Mrs. Frank VanGorder (local resident) verbally attacked Captain Bill MacDonald (Boston Police Department) for using dangerous means to break up a non-violent demonstration. V: Footage of police officers marching down Bunker Hill Street; of officials in civilian clothes with riot helmets and nightsticks. Shots of photographs of police officers on motorcycles; of crowds gathered in front of the Bunker Hill Housing Project; of police breaking up crowds in the housing project; of police lining the streets outside of the housing project; of Charlestown teenagers sitting on wall with racist graffiti. DeGive reports that the gathered crowds were chanting Charlestown football cheers; that the demonstration was peaceful; that the police were effective on the whole, but perhaps rough during the sit-down demonstration. DeGive reports that police were taken by surprise in the afternoon, when a gang of 100 youth overturned two cars, vandalized cars at Bunker Hill Community College and beat up an African American student at the college. DeGive reports that the incident occurred as police were overseeing the end of the school day at the high school; that many residents objected to the police presence on Bunker Hill Street; that Charlestown community leaders met with Captain MacDonald to discuss the community's grievances; that Dennis Kearney (State Representative) told MacDonald that the community resented the intrusion of helicopters, the Tactical Patrol Force and hundreds of other police officers into their community; that Kearney told MacDonald that demonstrators were given no warning before police motorcycles charged them . V: Still photos of Kearney; of police motorcycles. DeGive reports that Kearney said that the media acted irresponisibly; that there were too many media crews in Charlestown. DeGive reports that African American attendance at Charlestown High School was off by 170 students; that less than half of the white students attended school.

3:10:48: Baumeister reports that the opening of South Boston High School was different this year than it was the previous year; that police and US Marshals were present; that police dispersed crowds around the school which numbered more than three people; that police scrutinized the press credentials of the media. Baumeister reports that the buses arrived late; that students were not allowed to exit the buses for several minutes; that a crowd gathered on G Street, but was kept away from the school by police. V: Footage of police and US Marshals stationed outside of the high school; of the street outside of the high school; of buses pulling up to the school; of a crowd gathered in the distance; of African American students entering the school. Baumeister reports that 78 African American students out of 432 attended South Boston High School; that 216 out of 785 white students attended. V: Footage of three white female students passing by police to enter the school; of police cars and motorcycles escorting buses out of South Boston. Baumeister reports that the school day ended peacefully; that no buses were stoned; that there were 77 arrests in South Boston; that most of the arrests were for disorderly conduct; that those arrested were arraigned in South Boston. V: Footage of African American students being interviewed after school. One student says that it was better this year than last year.

3:12:57: DeGive reports that school officials were very pleased with the opening of schools. V: Footage of Marion Fahey (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) at a press conference at the Boston Schools Information Center. Fahey says that 162 schools opened; that the schools were prepared with learning programs for every child; that there were no arrests or suspensions; that she is optimistic about the coming school year.

3:14:16: Judy Stoia is in the studio with Eileen Sweeney (student, South Boston High School), Joan McDonough (student, South Boston High School) and Kevin Davis (student, South Boston High School). Sweeney reads a prepared piece about the opening day of school. She says that there was a heavy police and media presence; that she had to pass through metal detectors at the entrance of the school; that police and aids inside the school were friendly; that it is difficult to go anywhere in the school without a pass; that white students must wait to be dismissed from school until African American students have boarded the buses and left. Sweeney says that many white students have jobs after school; that white students should not have to wait until African American students are gone, especially if the buses are late.

3:16:37: McDonough reads a prepared piece about her day at school. She comments on police and media presence at the school, the metal detector at the entrance, and the low attendance. McDonough says that she spent the morning in the cafeteria while a counselor prepared her class schedule; that twenty students were without class assignments; that she felt some tension between white students and African American students as they waited for their class schedules; that there was little interaction between white students and African American students; that she does not think that there will ever be interaction between the two groups, "because you can't force people to be friends."

3:18:38: Judy Stoia interviews Davis about the experience of being bused into South Boston High School. Davis says that he was relieved that the police presence was not made up only of Boston police; that today was the first time he has ever been in South Boston; that he was more worried about Boston police officers than demonstrators; that some Boston police officers are not protecting the African American students; that African American students on the buses into South Boston were nervous; that there is a lot of tension in the school; that it won't take much to ignite the tension. Sweeney says that the level of tension is lower this year than during the previous year; that tension will build if the attendance numbers rise. Davis says that he got along with the white students today in South Boston. McDonough says that she believes that whites and African Americans can get along, but not in a situation where they are forced to be together. McDonough says that she went to a private school last year and got along with the "colored" people there; that the situation in South Boston is different because the two groups are forced on each other. Davis compares forced busing to an imaginary situation in which Stoia would be forced to leave WGBH and go to another station. Davis says that he feels like a pawn in a chess game; that he has no ability to make his own decisions. Sweeney says that people do not react well when they are forced to do something. Stoia points out that Sweeney and McDonough are not being bused; that nothing has been forced on them. Sweeney points out that it is difficult for students to interact normally with police present at all times; that the heavy media coverage puts pressure on the school; that it is not a normal situation at South Boston High School. Davis says that he cannot comment on whether white students and African American students at South Boston High School will get along; that each individual person is different in how they interact with others.

3:25:19: DeGive reports that only 14 white students out of 241 attended Roxbury High School today; that 165 African American students out of 322 attended; that Roxbury High School is participating in a court-ordered pairing of public schools with universities and cultural institutions; that Roxbury High School is paired with Harvard University under this program.

3:26:19: Pam Bullard interviews Joyce Grant (Harvard University) and James Mullan (Assistant Headmaster, Roxbury High School) in the studio. Bullard mentions that the idea of pairing public schools with universities and businesses is not a new one. Mullan says that a planning team of students, parents, aides, and teachers worked with members of the Harvard staff to develop programs and workshops in reading, math and computing. Grant says that Harvard provides additional resources to the schools; that the reading program focuses on communication; that students need to be able to read, analyze and communicate to excel in any subject. Grant says that she works with an assistant and a secretary on the Roxbury High School project; that she is trying to draw upon the resources at Harvard; that the staff at Harvard can learn from the project. Mullan says that the ninth grade students are clustered in order to identify their needs more quickly; that teachers work with students within the clusters; that the flexible campus program will be tied in with the Harvard programs. Grant says that Harvard would like to encourage internships and apprenticeships among the seniors; that Harvard would like to help them with training and summer jobs; that they would like to give individual attention to each senior. Grant uses the example of a student interested in the medical field. She says that the student could gain exposure to many different aspects of the medical field through an internship with the Harvard School of Medicine. Grant says that Harvard has started working on opportunities for Roxbury students through the School of Medicine. Mullan says that the teachers at the high school are enthusiastic about the program.

3:35:10: Baumeister reports that the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) has sent an official to oversee the opening of schools under Phase II desegregation. Baumeister reviews the credentials of Dr. Herman Goldberg (US Office of Education), who is in the studio with Bullard.

3:36:27: Bullard interviews Goldberg about his presence in Boston. Bullard says that the regional office of HEW has been working with the schools on desegregation; that he is in Boston to oversee the spending of federal money granted to the Boston public schools for desegregation; that he is here to give advice and support to Superintendent Fahey and her staff. Bullard explains that he was superintendent of schools in Rochester, NY, when that school system underwent desegregation; that school desegregation in Rochester was accomplished through open enrollment in schools and a resolution by the school board; that a large urban school system is never desegregated voluntarily. Bullard mentions that David Matthews (head, US Department of Health, Education and Welfare) is an outspoken opponent of busing. Goldberg says that personal opinions should not get in the way of federal law; that HEW aids school desegregation however it can. Bullard says that Boston has received the largest grant in the nation to aid in school desegregation; that the school system has received 3.9 million dollars; that Goldberg can recommend that the Boston schools receive more money if needed; that the school system needs to show that the programs are working. Bullard says that the Boston school system has had a slow start in administering programs due to changes in staff and safety concerns; that programs with the universities are moving ahead; that planning for these programs is happening behind the scenes. Bullard says that HEW evaluates programs it sponsors; that HEW does not test students; that schools often administer tests to evaluate student progress; that HEW sponsors evaluation of programs by outside organizations. Bullard says that the school system is making progress in desegregation; that he has been having discussions with Superintedent Fahey and her staff; that students arrived on opening day and began their studies; that the focus should be on educating the students.

3:45:12: Baumeister reviews the Evening Compass broadcasts for the following day. DeGive previews the stories to be covered in tomorrow's late edition. Credits roll.

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