Evening Compass clips: 1974-75
0:00:15: Ed Baumeister introduces Paul deGive's report on the first day of school at the Rochambeau Elementary School in Dorchester. DeGive reports that the opening was peaceful; that a rumored white boycott failed to materialize; that buses were empty; that the absentee rate was 50% for both white and African American students. Degive comments that many parents were present at the opening. DeGive reports on an interview with Barbara King (local resident) who was present to observe the opening but did not send her daughter to the school for fear of violence. The nearby Murphy school also opened without incident. The attendance rate at the Murphy was estimated at two-thirds.
0:02:50: Baumeister introduces Judy Stoia's report on the Martin Luther King School. Stoia reports on the peaceful opening of the Martin Luther King School, which had been an African American school the previous year: the attendance rate was 50%; 130 white students attended, out of a possible 634; many parents kept their children at home because the King school was expected to be a trouble spot.
0:04:25: Baumeister talks to reporters Greg Pilkington and Diane Dumanoski. Pilkington spent the day with African American students who were bused into South Boston. Pilkington describes the students' reactions to their arrival at South Boston High School and their departure on buses which were stoned by an angry crowd. Diane Dumanoski describes a peaceful bus ride to Hyde Park High School with just one white student on the bus. Pilkington remarks on the low attendance at South Boston High School and describes the teachers as tense and ambivalent about busing. Dumanoski describes hostility from some white students at Hyde Park High School.
0:11:46: Baumeister reports on statistics: 47,000 students out of possible 70,000 attended Boston schools; police made 6 arrests; buses made 450 runs. Joe Klein reports on the first day of school for Jimmy Glavin, a Hyde Park student bused to the Lewenberg school in Mattapan. Visual: Report is a montage of still photographs. Shots of a photo of Claire O'Malley (bus monitor); of Glavin waiting for the bus; of Glavin on the bus. Klein reports that Glavin was the only student at the first stop; that the bus made several stops; that some parents refused to put their children on the bus. Klein reports that children of non-local parents in Coast Guard housing attended school. V: Shots of photographs of students and parents at various bus stops. Shots of photographs of students boarding the bus. Klein reports that the Lewenberg school was quiet; that the nearby Thompson School was quiet; that there were few white students in attendance at the Thompson School. Klein reports that the white students left the Lewenberg School on buses in the afternoon. Klein notes that Glavin says that he will return to school the next day. V: Shots of photographs of students in classrooms. Shots of photographs of students exiting the school and boarding buses; of Glavin exiting the bus. Baumeister ends the show.
0:16:17: Baumeister introduces the show. (Opening credits are cut.) Judy Stoia reports on violence at South Boston High School, where an African American student stabbed a white student. Stoia reports that an angry crowd of 1500 people had assembled outside of the high school by 1:00pm. 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. Shot of a photograph of Hicks. 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 African American students return home safely. The crowd boos 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 of South Boston High School.
0:21:06: Pilkington reports on atmosphere at the Bayside Mall, where buses arrived with 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 safely to 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.
0:22:55: 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. 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 of King. Murrell quotes King's condemnation of the violence at South Boston High School. Murell 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. Murell says that Virginia Sheehy (South Boston Home and School Association) denies the charges. Murell reports that Sheehy says that white students should be able to hold meetings in school just like African American students 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.
0:26:52: Pam Bullard reports on a special hearing before Judge Garrity planned for the next day: 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.
0:31:56: Baumeister comments on the silence of both Mayor Kevin White and Governor Frank Sargent regarding the violence in South Boston. V: Footage of White on September 12, 1974, condemning violence and promising that it would not be tolerated. Credits roll.
0:34:14: Evening Compass special: The Compass Weekly: A Delicate Balance. Pam Bullard's report sums up the events concerning the desegregation of schools in Boston during the 1974 school year. V: Report includes footage of anti-busing demonstrations at City Hall Plaza in August and September of 1974; of William Reid (Headmaster, South Boston High School) reporting low attendance figures on September 13, 1974; of white students and black students discussing forced busing outside of Hyde Park High School; of a car on the street with two KKK signs displayed; of Kevin White addressing the busing issue on October 8, 1974; of Gerald Ford stating his opposition to forced busing on October 9, 1974; of national guardsmen on October 16, 1974; of students discussing their feelings about busing; of William Leary (Superintendent, Boston School Department) announcing the reopening of South Boston High School on January 7, 1974. Report also includes footage of children in classrooms, anti-busing protests, school buses escorted by police, police in South Boston, and still photos of important figures in the busing controversy.
0:45:27: Stoia reports on alternative schools set up in Hyde Park by parents opposed to forced busing. Stoia reports that some teachers are accredited and are paid from the students' fees; that the curriculum is similar to public school curriculum and classes are smaller. V: Footage of a teacher and students in an alternative classroom. Footage of Henry Lodge (Hyde Park parent) being interviewed by Stoia. Lodge talks about the good education provided by the alternative schools; about parents' need to escape from forced busing and inferior public schools. Stoia reports that 125 white students attend alternative schools in Hyde Park and South Boston; that organizers plan to open Hyde Park Academy, which will have its own building to accomodate 500 students; that these schools are open to African Americans, but are mostly white. Stoia reports on an alternative school for African American students. V: Footage of African American teacher and students in an alternative classroom. Stoia reports that African American parents do not want to send their children into a hostile environment. Stoia remarks that parents are looking for "quality education," which is a term often heard in the desegregation debate. V: Footage of Thomas Atkins (President of the NAACP) calling on leaders to stop politicizing the school desegregation process.
0:49:22: Baumeister comments that many Boston residents are opposed to busing but that Raymond Flynn is the only mayoral candidate opposed to busing. Baumeister reports that Flynn campaigns on the busing issue and is the only anti-busing politician to run for mayor. V: Shots of still photographs of candidates White, Thomas Eisenstadt, and Flynn. Shots of photographs of busing opponents Louise Day Hicks, William Bulger (State Senator), Avi Nelson (radio talk show host). Baumeister reports on media coverage of busing by The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald American. Baumeister reports that both papers urged compliance with the court order and played down any violence resulting from desegregation; that the Globe is especially distrusted by the anti-busing movement; that anti-busing leaders have set up their own information centers; that television stations have largely escaped the anti-media feeling of the anti-busers; that a large media presence will exacerbate the tense situation. V: Shots of front-page busing coverage in The Boston Globe and The Boston Herald American. Footage of William Reid (Headmaster, South Boston High School) on September 15, 1974. Reid tells the media to stop filming and photographing his students.
0:54:15: Bullard reports on the peaceful integration of some schools and on the next phase of school desegregation in Boston, which will include schools in Charlestown, East Boston, and Roxbury. V: Footage of Peter Ingeneri (Area Superintendent, Dearborn District) on November 21, 1974. Ingeneri talks about larger social problems which will make school desegregation difficult in Roxbury. Footage of Isaac Graves (Manager, Roxbury Little City Hall) on January 9, 1975. Graves talks about African American commitment to better schools and integration. Footage of Chris Mitchell (student) on January 9, 1975. Mitchell talks about how important it is to graduate from high school. Report also includes footage of students boarding buses; of students in integrated classrooms; of African American schoolchildren; of buses transporting schoolchildren. Bullard reports on a Supreme Court ruling which dealt a blow to the anti-busing movement's plan to include the suburbs in desegregation. Bullard reads statistics regarding the segregation of Boston school teachers and administrators. She reports on the plan to integrate teachers and administrators and to hire more African Americans in the school system. Bullard reports on the budget for police and security required to desegregate Boston's schools; on expectations for more resistance to busing in the next school year; on efforts to reverse or stop the court order. V: Credits roll over footage of African American students boarding buses.