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An angry crowd gathers at South Boston High School following the stabbing of a student

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Summary
An angry crowd gathers at South Boston High School following the stabbing of a student
Topics
Busing for school integration--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Arrest, Police patrol, Race relations, School violence--Massachusetts--Boston, School integration--Massachusetts--Boston--Public opinion, Segregation in education--Massachusetts--Boston--History, Segregation, Civil rights, South Boston High School, Boston (Mass.). School Committee, Massachusetts. Dept. of State Police, MDC (Metropolitan District Commission) Police Department, South Boston Home and School Association, Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), Atkins, Thomas, Baumeister, Ed, Bulger, William, Bullard, Pam, Coakley, John, Garrity, W. Arthur (Wendell Arthur), 1920-1999, King, Mel, Leary, William, Lyons, Louis, Murrell, Peggy, Owens, William, Sargent, Frank, Sheehy, Virginia, Stoia, Judy, Van Loon, Eric, White, Kevin
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Log

0:24:31: Ed Baumeister introduces the newscast. Opening credits roll.

0:25:27: Louis Lyons reads the headlines. Lyons reports that Nelson Rockefeller's appointment to the vice-presidency was approved by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 26 - 12; that he should be elected by the full House of Representatives next Thursday; that 9 Democrats on the Committee joined all 17 Republicans voting for Rockefeller; that the Committee had investigated Rockefeller's gifts to members of the Senate Committee and had heard a wide range of criticism of Rockefeller. Lyons reports that both houses of Congress overwhelmingly approved money to create jobs for the unemployed. Lyons reports that President Gerald Ford has indicated his support of a tax cut to stimulate auto sales; that there would be no increase in gasoline taxes. Lyons reports that the rate of inflation rose 1.5% last month; that the rate of inflation seems to be leveling off after a rise of 3% during the previous month. Lyons reports that the House Rules Committee voted to approve a bill to regulate strip mining; that the House Rules Committee did not approve bills for a tax cut and an end to the oil depletion allowance; that liberals and representatives from the oil states voted to kill the bills. Lyons reports on speculation that William Saxby (Attorney General) will be appointed Ambassador to India; that Edward Levy (President, University of Chicago) will be appointed as the new attorney general. Lyons comments that Levy is an expert in the area of anti-trust law; that Saxby is an expert at "putting his foot in his mouth." Lyons reports that Great Britain had a record trade deficit of 1.25 billion last month, partly due to oil prices; that the pound dropped to a new low. Lyons comments that Great Britain's currency is suffering as a result of Saudi Arabia's decision "not to accept any more Stilton for oil." Lyons reports that Henry Kissinger warned western leaders that their economic system will be faced with disaster unless a remedy can be found for the "double crisis of inflation and recession." Lyons reports that Ford will meet with Valery Giscard d'Estaing (President of France) this weekend; that the French are skeptical about Kissinger's strategy to cope with oil prices. Lyons reports that students continue to fight government troops in Rangoon, Burma; that the Ne Win government has imposed martial law. Lyons reports that Jimmy Carter (Governor, State of Georgia) announced his candidacy for president; that Carter promises to end secrecy in government and the "cozy relations" between government officials and industry.

0:28:30: Baumeister reports that yesterday's violence at South Boston High School will have long-range repercussions on the court-ordered desegregation of Boston schools; that the Boston School Committee has five days left to file a long-range desegregation plan in court. Baumeister introduces a report on the violence by Judy Stoia.

0:29:05: Stoia reports that tension in South Boston High School had been building during the past week; that there was a fight in the machine shop on Monday; that there was a scuffle in the girls' restroom on Tuesday; that there were fights in the cafeteria and the library on Wednesday; that school aides warned of serious trouble between white and African American students. Stoia reports that a white student was stabbed at school yesterday; that an African American student has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon. Stoia reports that white students left the school after the stabbing; that several hundred people had gathered in front of the high school by noon; that residents of Charlestown and East Boston also joined the crowd in front of the school. Stoia reports that the there were many anti-busing mothers and children among the crowd. Visual: Shots of photographs of a white female student standing among a crowd of white students; of large crowds assembled in front of South Boston High School; of helmeted police officers standing among the crowd. Shots of photographs of middle-aged women among the crowd. Stoia reports that 1500 people had gathered in front of the school by 1:00 pm; that the crowd was waiting for the arrival of school buses to pick up the African American students; that many in the crowd were intent on attacking the buses. Stoia reports that Louise Day Hicks (Boston City Council) tried to calm the crowd. V: Shots of photographs of huge crowds assembled on G Street, in front of the school; of helmeted police officers keeping the crowd at bay. Shots of a photograph of Hicks in the crowd. Footage of Hicks assuring the crowd that the assault will be investigated. William Bulger (State Senator) stands beside Hicks. Hicks pleads with the crowd to let the African American students return home safely. The crowd boos at Hicks. Stoia reports that the crowd was hostile to police; that police units from the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF), the MDC Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police Department were outnumbered by the crowd; that the crowd threw bricks and bottles at police. Stoia reports that the crowd angrily stoned school buses headed toward the school. V: Shots of photographs of the huge crowd; of a TPF unit; of an MDC police officer on a motorcycle; of mounted police on the street. Shots of photographs of a police car with a broken window; of arrests being made. Shots of photographs of the crowd; of stoned school buses. Stoia reports that the buses were decoys and that African American students had escaped through a side door and were bused to safety. V: Shots of photographs of a side entrance at South Boston High School.

0:32:25: Greg Pilkington reports on the atmosphere at the Bayside Mall, where buses arrived with the African American students who had been trapped in South Boston High School. Pilkington reports that students and parents were frightened and angry. V: Footage of buses and police officers in the mall parking lot. Angry groups of African American students speak directly to the camera about their experiences in South Boston. One student comments on the angry and violent parents in the South Boston crowd. An angry African American woman says that white children go to school peacefully at the McCormack School in her neighborhood, but that African American students cannot go to school safely in South Boston. She says that Kevin White (Mayor, City of Boston) is not doing his job. A man shouts into a bullhorn that there is no school on Thursday or Friday. Pilkington reports that the anger of the African American community seems to be directed at the city, the police, and the Boston School Committee for not controlling the situation in South Boston.

0:34:13: Peggy Murrell reports on the reaction of Thomas Atkins (President, NAACP) and Mel King (State Representative) to the violence at South Boston High School. She says that both leaders are determined to continue with school desegregation; that both are concerned for the safety of African American students in the schools. She quotes Atkins as saying that schools should be shut down and students should be reassigned if the safety of African American students cannot be guaranteed; that Atkins will make this request to the court if necessary. Murrell reports that King agrees with Atkins about shutting down the schools if safety cannot be assured; that King says African American students will continue to attend school despite the violence. V: Shots of photographs of Atkins and King. Murrell quotes King's condemnation of the violence at South Boston High School. Murrell reports that Atkins charged the South Boston Home and School Association with holding a racist rally inside the high school and with encouraging a school boycott by white students. Murrell says that Virginia Sheehy (South Boston Home and School Association) denies the charges. Murrell reports that Sheehy says that white students should be able to hold meetings in school just like student-run African American societies do. State Senator William Owens (Chairman of the Emergency Committee Against Racism in Education) agrees that schools should be shut down if a peaceful solution cannot be found, and says that a march against racism planned for Saturday will proceed.

0:38:11: Baumeister introduces Pam Bullard's report, which reviews school desegregation in South Boston since the opening of school. Bullard reports that many expected the worst on opening day at South Boston High School; that national and foreign press were covering the arrival of African American students to desegregate the school. Bullard reports that a large crowd gathered to protest school desegregation; that the crowd yelled racial epithets at the students entering the school; that the police were tolerant of the crowd; that the crowd quieted down after school began. V: Footage from September 12, 1974, of a school bus in front of South Boston High School. African American students exit the buses and enter the front doors of South Boston High School. Protesters are gathered in front of the school. Police officers are stationed along the street and in front of the crowd of protestors. Another school bus pulls up. Crowds of white residents jeer at the busloads of African American students. Bullard reports that many in South Boston could not believe that desegregation was happening at their high school; that violence erupted on the afternoon of the first day of school, when busloads of African American students were stoned by South Boston residents. Bullard reports that the situation appeared to grow calmer as the school year progressed; that police motorcycles escorted school buses to and from school; that police officers were stationed inside and outside of schools. Bullard reports that violence erupted again yesterday; that the crowd gathered outside of South Boston High School showed great levels of anger, frustration, and hatred; that almost everyone in the crowd shouted ugly racial slurs. V: Shots of photographs of a white crowd gathered on G Street, outside of South Boston High School. Shots of photographs of middle-aged women and young people among the crowd. Bullard reports that young people in the crowd openly insulted African American police officers; that members of the crowd shouted obscenities at the press and grabbed their cameras; that members of the crowd spit at police officers and jumped on top of police cars; that the crowd cheered each time a bottle or brick was thrown at the police. V: Shots of photographs of a damaged Boston Police cruiser; of two police officers stationed in the street; of helmeted police officers making an arrest; of an older woman among the crowd. Bullard notes that the crowd included men and older residents of South Boston; that earlier demonstrations had been primarily South Boston mothers and students. Bullard notes that the crowd was bent on revenge for the stabbing of a white student; that they probably would have done great harm to the African American students if they could have.

0:41:00: Baumeister introduces Stoia's report on the atmosphere at schools around the city after the incident at South Boston High School. Stoia reports that police and the media were present at Hyde Park High School this morning; that some had anticipated problems at Hyde Park High School after the violent incident at South Boston High School on the previous day; that Hyde Park High School had experienced some walkouts and racial incidents over the past few months. V: Shots of photographs of police officers stationed at the entrance of Hyde Park High School; of police officers stationed on the streets around the school. Stoia reports that the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) was present at the school in case of an incident. Stoia reports that African American students arrived on buses and entered the school with no problems; that white students arrived peacefully. V: Shots of photographs of African American students exiting buses and entering the schoolyard; of white students outside of the school. Stoia reports that about 100 white students staged a walkout after their first period class; that 400 white students stayed in class. Stoia reports that there were a few fights between students and police and some arrests; that the walkout was inspired by the previous day's events in South Boston; that the atmosphere at Hyde Park did not seem as tense as in South Boston. Stoia reports that a few African American students walk to school in Hyde Park; that it would be impossible for an African American student to walk to school in South Boston. V: Shots of photographs of a small crowd of people gathered on the steps of the school; of a large crowd of white students gathered outside of the school; of police moving students away from the school building; of students walking away from the school. Shots of photographs of white students outside of the school; of African American students walking into the school. Stoia reports that some white students are angry about the stabbing at South Boston High School; that other students participated in the walkout because they wanted a day off from school. Stoia adds that no racial slurs were exchanged between African American and white students in the schoolyard of Hyde Park High School; that there were no racist buttons or posters in sight. Stoia says that she spoke to some anti-busing mothers in Hyde Park who were appalled at the violence in South Boston. Stoia reports that the violence in South Boston did have some effect on Boston schools; that attendance was down 7% in Boston schools today; that there were small walkouts by white students at four Boston high schools; that the white students who stayed in school outnumbered those who walked out in all four schools. Stoia reports that another incident in South Boston could escalate racial tension at other schools; that a lessening of tension in South Boston could result in higher attendance rates at other schools.

0:44:02: Bullard reports on a special hearing before Arthur Garrity (federal judge) planned for the next day. Bullard notes that the African American plaintiffs in the desegregation case (Morgan v. Hennigan) have called the hearing to demand the following: the presence of state police and the national guard in South Boston; a ban on parents in schools; a ban on gatherings of more than five people in South Boston; a ban on the use of all racial epithets. Bullard reports that Eric Van Loon (attorney for the plaintiffs) says that South Boston will not escape desegregation. Bullard notes that the Boston School Committee is under court order to file a second phase desegregation plan on the following Monday; that the new plan will desegregate schools city-wide and will allow parents to choose between flexible and traditional educational programs. V: Footage of John Coakley (Boston School Department) talking about the differences between the traditional and flexible program choices under the new plan. Coakley says that the new plan allows parents to choose programs, but not specific schools. Bullard reports that the Boston School Committee has repeatedly refused to endorse any form of desegregation; that the committee risks being held in contempt of court if they do not approve a plan to submit to the court. Bullard reports on speculation that William Leary (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) will submit the plan without the approval of the School Committee, to avoid being held in contempt of court.

0:49:06: Baumeister comments on the silence of both Kevin White (Mayor, City of Boston) and Frank Sargent (Governor, State of Massachusetts) regarding the previous day's violence in South Boston. Baumeister notes that White spoke out publicly against the stoning of school buses in South Boston on the first day of school. V: Footage of White on September 12, 1974, condemning violence and promising that it would not be tolerated. Baumeister notes that as the level of violence goes up, the visibility of top officials goes down. Credits roll.

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