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Kevin White talks about anti-busing sentiment in South Boston

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Summary
Kevin White talks about anti-busing sentiment in South Boston
Topics
Busing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Segregation in education--Massachusetts--Boston--History, School integration--Massachusetts--Boston--Public opinion, Segregation, Civil rights, Chase, Leroy, Coakley, John, deGive, Paul, Jordan, Joseph, Kiley, Robert, Leary, William, O'Brien, Anne, Tivnan, Frank, Boston (Mass.). Police Dept., Boston School Department, Freedom House
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Log

0:03:46: Visual: Opening title reads Compass Special: Boston School Report. Paul deGive reports on the day's events from press conference at Boston City Hall: a ban on a protest march by South Boston residents; 20 arrests. Frank Tivnan (Director of Communications for Mayor Kevin White) thanks the media for the opportunity to report the day's events to the public. Tivnan reports no serious injuries to Boston residents or to children on school buses. Tivnan commends the police department for managing crowds in South Boston. Tivnan reports an increase in school attendance.

0:06:33: V: John Coakley (Boston School Department) reports that 57,000 students (69%) were in attendance: 66% at the high school level, 68% at the middle school level and 73% at the elementary school level. V: Video changes from color to black and white. Coakley notes a marked increase in attendance from the previous Friday. He adds that attendance is still very low in South Boston. Coakley reports a reasonably calm atmosphere at schools; that the superintendent visited schools in Hyde Park and Roslindale; that some scheduling difficulties remain to be worked out at the secondary school level (English High School, Roslindale High School, Jamaica Plain High School); that Robert Peterkin (Headmaster, English High School) is optimistic about the situation at his school.

0:12:31: V: Tivnan introduces Joseph Jordan (Superintendent, Boston Police Department). Jordan reports that crowds in South Boston gathered sporadically throughout the day and were broken up by police; that 20 arrests were made; that the ban on liquor during the day will continue; that the police will continue to deploy a maximum number of officers in South Boston.

0:14:30: V: Tivnan introduces Leroy Chase (Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Department). Chase reports that Freedom House and members of the community are helping police monitor the streets of Roxbury and North Dorchester.

0:15:27: V: Kevin White (Mayor, City of Boston) joins the panel. He commends the performance of the police department, school officials, and Robert Kiley (Deputy Mayor, City of Boston). White talks about his goals of getting children back in school and withdrawing police from South Boston. He says he is prepared to increase police presence if necessary, but hopes to see a continued decrease in violence.

0:17:49: V: Tivnan invites reporters to ask questions. White answers questions about the afternoon's hearings in Judge Garrity's courtroom; about a possible decrease in the police presence in South Boston. V: Color video returns. White responds that police presence will decrease when the city can guarantee the safety of students. He again commends the performance of the police. Reporter asks the mayor how groups of people in South Boston managed to assemble if police were present in the neighborhood. White comments that children and young people were out on the streets despite a commitment by anti-busing parents to keep children at home.

0:20:39: V: A reporter asks Mayor White if the city is getting cooperation from some moderates in South Boston. White responds that the moderate leaders must assert themselves over the groups causing disruption. A reporter asks Mayor White what it will take to end the white boycott of schools. White responds that it will take some time until emotions are cooled down. A reporter asks Mayor White when truancy laws will be enforced. White responds that the decision will be made by the School Department. A reporter asks Mayor White if Senator William Bulger, Councillor Louise Day Hicks, and other South Boston leaders will exert a calming influence on the neighborhood. White says that he has met with them and they are eager to resolve the situation.

0:25:41: V: A reporter asks Mayor White if he asked South Boston leaders to join him in an appeal to the people of South Boston. White says no. DeGive asks White how long the city can sustain the police presence in South Boston, and where the money comes from to pay overtime. Reporters ask White how bad the situation in South Boston will be allowed to get before outside help is sought; if he can confirm reports that agitators in South Boston are connected to the underworld. A reporter asks if a group of agitators in South Boston has been infiltrated by police. White says that all agitators are dealt with in the same manner. Jordan adds that the police will gather intelligence on anyone involved in the unrest. A reporter asks Jordan if he will identify any particular group associated with the unrest. Jordan confirms that police have identified agitators who have been involved in past criminal activity in South Boston.

0:29:31: V: A reporter asks Mayor White about comments by South Boston leaders which could be seen as supportive to the white boycott. White says he cannot control the opinions and comments of other leaders. He mentions that white students have been going to B.C. High School and other schools located in difficult neighborhoods for many years. Superintendent William Leary (Boston School Department) mentions Boston Technical High School in Roxbury. A reporter asks White about whether he will admit to isolating some groups in South Boston and failing to seek their input. White denies this charge. A reporter asks White if the liquor ban in South Boston will be enforced for the next day. White says that the decision is made by the police department.

0:32:53: V: A reporter asks Leary if he has information on increased discipline problems in the schools. Leary replies that he has visited several schools across the city and that the number of problems is no greater than normal. A reporter asks Jordan for a breakdown of arrests. White excuses himself and leaves the room. Jordan reads a list of arrest locations and charges. Tivnan asks Deputy Mayor Kiley if he has anything to add. Kiley says no. A reporter asks Tivnan how the city will pay for police overtime. Tivnan says that it will come from Police Department budget. A reporter asks Tivnan about the reaction of liquor store owners to the liquor ban. Tivnan responds that most stores complied with the ban.

0:36:52: V: A reporter asks Jordan if the liquor ban is effective. Jordan says yes. Leary breaks in to introduce Anne O'Brien (Principal, John P. Holland School). O'Brien reports a successful school opening; that teachers are prepared; that progress is good. Tivnan closes the press conference. Panelists and reporters rise and exit.

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