Description: Frank Power (Headmaster, Charlestown High School) holds a press conference at foot of Bunker Hill Monument. Power answers questions about opening day preparations, school attendance, and programs at Charlestown High School. He will not comment on any racial tension or incidents. Power insists that the opening day was "routine" and that he has no knowledge of any happenings outside of the building. Power compliments his staff on their performance. Power says that projected enrollment statistics are high; that he will contact students who did not attend school today. A large mass of police officers gather in front of Charlestown High School. Paul deGive interviews Power alone. Power says that he did not turn away students who were late if they had a note from their parents. Power says that he may reinstate the flexible campus program eventually. DeGive shoots cutaways. DeGive interviews parents Peggy King and Gertrude Harris in front of a building in the Bunker Hill Housing Project. King and Harris resent the police presence in Charlestown. King talks about sending her four children to schools outside of Boston in order to avoid busing assignments. Hayes says that young children should not be bused; that she will try to enroll her children in public schools in Somerville. King predicts that the situation in Charlestown will grow worse if busing continues.
0:53:59: Visual: Media crews surround Frank Power (Headmaster, Charlestown High School) as he responds to questions at the foot of the Bunker Hill Monument, across the street from Charlestown High School. On the defensive, Power insists that the opening day was routine and refuses to comment on the police presence. He reports that 315 students out of 873 attended school. He insists that the school and the teachers were ready for opening day; that he didn't feel any tension in the building. Powers reports that the school will contact all students who were not present and request that they attend school. Shot of an MDC police officer on horseback outside of Charlestown High School. Power insists again that the opening was routine. Power responds in a hostile manner to a reporter asking about relations between African American and white students; he says that he did not spend the day in the classrooms with the students. 0:56:36: V: Power insists that he was inside the school all day and was not aware of happenings outside of the building. He reports that seven buses brought students to the school; that some white students are bused in from Forest Hills; that the projected enrollment figure is high and includes students who may have finished school over the summer. On the defensive, Power responds that he does not know how many Charlestown students boycotted school; that he will count the number of Charlestown students attending school only if it is required of him. Power notes that he has been headmaster for eight years. Shot of police officers lined up outside of Charlestown High School. 0:58:42: V: Power asks the reporters why they don't ask more good questions. He happily responds to a "good" question about how he prepared the teachers for opening day. He says that the teachers at the school performed magnificently; that he would like to thank them through the media. Power responds that he has suspended the flexible campus program due to safety concerns; that there is no lunchroom at the school; that the students eat lunch in their homerooms. He insists again that the opening was routine, but with fewer students. Shot of three men tending to broken fence on Monument Square. Power reminds the media that the Public Information Center has attendance statistics; that he estimates racial breakdown to be 235 white students, 66 African Americans and 14 other minorities; that he will work to bring attendance numbers up. Power explains again why the projected enrollment figure is high. 1:02:07: V: Shot of a large crowd of helmeted police officers outside of Charlestown High School. Paul deGive interviews Power. Power responds to complaints that he turned away students by explaining the school's late policy. He insists that he did not turn away students who arrived late if they had a note from their parents; that parents could call and alert him that their students were arriving late. Power says that the opening day was routine and insists that he noticed no tension; that the flexible campus program would be suspended for safety reasons; that the flexible campus program and other programs might be reinstated eventually; that the racial breakdown was 235 white students, 66 African Americans and 14 other minorities; that the projected enrollment figure was high; that he will try to bring attendance numbers up by contacting absentee students. Power refuses to make guesses as to whether more whites or more African Americans stayed out of school. DeGive thanks Power and ends interview. 1:06:54: V: DeGive and Power speak to one another informally. Power speaks to other reporters. The crew does extra takes of deGive. 1:09:11: V: DeGive prepares to interview Peggy King and Gertrude Hayes (residents, Bunker Hill Housing Project) as they sit with some children outside of a building in the Bunker Hill Housing Project. King does not want her children bused out of Charlestown because a new school has been built there. Both women resent the police presence. They do not believe that the police should be allowed inside the housing project. King has four children who were to be bused; she sent them to schools in Wakefield, Lynn and Dorchester to avoid busing. The crew does several takes of this exchange. King says that she cannot afford parochial schools, but knows they are an option. She believes the situation in Charlestown will get worse. Hayes does not believe that younger children should be bused at all. The children become noisy; the crew tells them to quiet down. King thinks that more families will send their students out of Boston. Hayes has three children who were to be bused; she is going to try to send them to school in Somerville. The women agree that the busing plan primarily affects poor families from the housing project; that the plan discriminates against them. The crew does extra takes of deGive interviewing the women. Hayes talks about her efforts to enroll her students in Somerville schools; King talks about fighting the court order.
Collection: Evening Compass, The
Date Created: 09/08/1975
Description: Press conference at the Boston Schools Information Center on day two of Phase II desegregation of Boston schools. Footage is silent until 00:01:37. Robert DiGrazia (Police Commissioner, City of Boston) takes questions about the arrests of 74 members of the Committee Against Racism, and how the police and judiciary process mass arrests in South Boston. DiGrazia also answers questions about police restraint and police response to violence in the streets. Ed Baumeister (WGBH reporter) notes that there are many arrests for minor infractions and few arrests for major incidents. Greg Pilkington (WGBH reporter) questions the police policy of restraint. DiGrazia says that there is a difference between low visibility and restraint; that police are making arrests. J. Stanley Pottinger (Assistant US Attorney General) discusses the presence of federal marshals in Boston and the ongoing federal investigations into violations of the federal court order. Pottinger says that antibusing activity at night can be considered a violation of the court order. DiGrazia says that police are making great efforts to crack down on violence and vandalism during the evening hours. Peter Meade (Mayor's Office) reports on public safety teams in Charlestown. Marion Fahey (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools) reports on school attendance and atmosphere. She gives information on registration for students without school assignments. Reporters ask Pottinger questions about the federal investigations of antibusing activity. Reporters ask Fahey questions about school attendance and low attendance among white students. Fahey says that attendance will improve as parents and students realize that the schools are running smoothly. This tape has visible time code burned in at the bottom of the screen.
0:01:27: Visual: Press conference at the Boston Schools Information Center. Panelists assemble at a table with microphones. Reporters include Ed Baumeister (WGBH), John Henning, Greg Pilkington (WGBH), and Walt Sanders. Ron Brinn (Information Coordinator for Mayor Kevin White) begins to speak. Audio cuts in and out. 0:03:04: V: A reporter asks about the arrests of 74 members of the Committee Against Racism in South Boston, and a related confrontation with a hostile crowd at the South Boston courthouse. Robert DiGrazia (Police Commissioner, City of Boston) says he has spoken to the parties involved and that the problems at the South Boston courthouse were due to a lack of communication; that Chief Justice Flaschner will work with police and local courts to expedite the booking of arrestees; that he had previously met with Flaschner and others to discuss the expeditious booking of mass arrests; that there was confusion in South Boston on the day in question. A reporter asks if there was a firm agreement with all involved in the meeting to hold court in a venue other than the courthouse if necessary. DiGrazia says there was discussion and plans to implement action if necessary. 0:06:34: V: Baumeister points out that many arrests are made for minor infractions and few arrests are made for more serious acts of violence. DiGrazia responds that there have been quite a few arrests for acts of violence; that members of the Committee Against Racism needed to be moved in order to avoid a major confrontation along a bus route; that the police are trying to neutralize a dangerous situation; that police are showing great restraint. Pilkington points out that restraint by police was not effective during the previous year. DiGrazia interrupts him by saying that there is a difference between low visibility and restraint; that police are actively making arrests this year, but are showing restraint. Reporter asks if there is discussion of calling in the National Guard to aid police at night. DiGrazia says that police are working long hours but performing well; that there are no plans at present to call in the National Guard. 0:09:38: V: A reporter asks about the possibility of federal charges being brought against some arrestees. J. Stanley Pottinger (Assistant U.S. Attorney General) responds that charges are being investigated; that federal and state charges may be lodged; that he is personally involved with five investigations. A reporter asks how federal marshals can aid police in the evening if their mandate is to enforce the federal court order. Pottinger says that certain actions outside of school hours could be handled by the federal marshals as violations of the federal court order; that federal marshals are there to assist police; that federal marshals are working long hours. Pottinger confirms that the Justice Department is investigating an incident at the JFK Home and a Molotov cocktail incident; that they are investigating reports of direct intimidation of individuals trying to comply with the court order; that they are investigating some arrests for the assault of police officers. 0:12:38: V: Pilkington asks if the violence committed by youth gangs in Charlestown constitutes a violation of federal law. Pottinger says that the violence may be a violation, especially if the violence involves an assault on a police officer or a fire official. Reporter asks what will be done about nighttime violence and vandalism. DiGrazia says that he will increase police numbers in Charlestown and South Boston; that police will be assisted by federal marshals; that federal marshals will investigate assaults on police officers. A reporter asks Peter Meade (Mayor's Office) to clarify a statement indicating that he has complaints against the media. Meade says that it was a humorous statement directed at a reporter whom he knows well; that he would like to clarify a his answer to a question from yesterday about police presence in Charlestown. 0:15:31: V: A reporter asks Meade what public safety teams are doing to prevent violence and vandalism in Charlestown. Meade says that several people are on the streets trying to calm the situation; that Roberta Delaney (Manager, Charlestown Little City Hall) will hold a meeting that afternoon with a public safety team; that antibusing leaders in Charlestown have made it clear that they do not support violence. A reporter asks DiGrazia to compare today's violence in Charlestown to that of the previous day. DiGrazia says that police did a good job in defusing a difficult situation today. A reporter asks if federal marshals will be on duty for the evening. Pottinger says that the federal marshals will not be on patrol; that they will be available upon request from police. 0:18:09: V: Brinn introduces Marion Fahey (Superintendent, Boston Public Schools). Fahey thanks the public safety officials. Fahey says that attendance is up for both African Americans and whites; that there has been one suspension and no arrests; that the climate in the schools is good; that extracurricular activities are proceeding. Commissioner DiGrazia excuses himself and leaves. A reporter asks Fahey about low white attendance in West Roxbury. Fahey responds that they are watching the situation and will contact students who are absent. Reporter comments that attendance in elementary schools is primarily African American. Fahey says that some white parents may be waiting to assess the climate at the schools before sending their children; that she is confident that white attendance will go up. 0:21:37: V: A reporter asks Pottinger if there are some individuals under investigation who have not been arrested. Pottinger says yes, but that he will not give details. A reporter asks Fahey about students who have not yet been assigned to school. Fahey gives information on two sites where student registration will be held on the following day. Fahey asks the media to disseminate the information. Fahey says that 800 students were processed in last week's preregistration; that 400 students were processed today; that she has no way of knowing how many students still need school assignments. Fahey tells a reporter that she has no information on the suspension of an African American male student today. A reporter asks Fahey about plans to assess student achievement in the desegregated schools. Fahey says that she is working with consultants on assessing math and reading; that attendance is another indication of school performance. 0:25:21: V: Brinn interrupts to clarify Pottinger's title as he prepares to make a statement. Pottinger explains that he will be absent for a few days for personal reasons; that Robert Murphy (Civil Rights Division, US Justice Department) will be in charge in his absence. Brinn checks with Meade to see if he has a statement, then invites more questions. A reporter asks Pottinger for more detail on investigations of people who have not been arrested. Pottinger says that the investigations are centered on intimidations and threats to those trying to comply with the court order; that the FBI is investigating allegations; that it is possible to move quickly toward indictment if the evidence is sufficient; that he cannot predict when or if an indictment will occur. A reporter asks Pottinger about the five investigations he is involved with personally, and whether they concern people who have not been arrested. Pottinger says that he is familiar with five investigations concerning threats and intimidation as well as arrests made by the state; that there may be other investigations; that there are sitting grand juries available to hear these cases; that he does not think it will be necessary to empanel a grand jury. 0:28:49: V: A reporter asks Fahey where the 25,000 absentee students are. Fahey responds that she does not know. A reporter asks for a summary of the attendance figures. Robert Donahue (Boston School Department) says that the attendance has increased; that some parents have kept children out of school; that attendance will increase as it becomes clear to parents that schools are functioning normally. Fahey gives a rundown of attendance figures for the first and second days of school: that attendance was 60.3% and 64.1% at the high schools; that attendance was 60.1% and 65.8% at the middle schools; that attendance was 58.1% and 64.9% at the elementary schools. 0:30:44: V: Brinn thanks the panelists and closes the press conference. Baumeister gives a summary of the conference. Reporters mill around the room.
Collection: Evening Compass, The
Date Created: 09/09/1975
Description: Evening Compass late edition newscast covering day 3 of Phase II desegregation in Boston Schools. Ed Baumeister summarizes events and report on school attendance figures. Pam Bullard reports that attendance figures show white students to be in the minority: Peter Meade (Mayor's Office) comments on racial makeup of the school system; Cardinal Medeiros (Archdiocese of Boston) comments on influx of Boston students to parochial schools to avoid busing. School officials comment on the opening of schools: Charles Leftwich (Associate Superintendent of Schools) reports a missing bus and problems with buses arriving late; Robert Donahue (Boston School Department) reports on registration for unassigned students; Frances Condon (Boston School Department) reports on kindergarten registration. Bullard interviews Thayer Fremont-Smith (Lawyer, Boston Home and School Association) about the court action to overturn forced busing. Fremont-Smith says that the court-ordered busing plan is too broad and will result in racially imbalanced schools as a result of declining white enrollment. Edwin Diamond (media critic) analyzes Boston Globe coverage of busing crisis with guests Mike McNamee (MIT student) and Robert Healy (Executive Editor, Boston Globe). Healy says that a local newspaper has to deal with the crisis differently than a national newspaper.
Collection: Evening Compass, The
Date Created: 09/10/1975
Description: Evening Compass newscast during the first week of Phase II integration of Boston schools. Ed Baumeister reads school attendance statistics and reports on the stoning of a bus in Jamaica Plain. Pam Bullard reports on resistance to busing among Hyde Park parents. She interviews Hyde Park residents Paul Murphy, Ginny McCarthy, William Wager, Sylvia Connaughton, Pauline Haley, and Eddie Remondi. Remondi invokes the civil disobedience of Martin Luther King as a model for the antibusing movement. Gary Griffith reports on complaints of police brutality by Tactical Patrol Force officers in South Boston, Charlestown and Roxbury. Bill MacDonald, Joseph Rowan, William Johnston, Val Williams, and Kathy Fitzpatrick (all of the Boston Police Department) talk about the TPF and respond to the charges of brutality. Baumeister reports on how busing has affected East Boston. He interviews East Boston residents Rose DiScisio, Mina DeFilippo, Mrs. Jay DiGiangregorio and Evelyn Babin about busing. Judy Stoia interviews Dennis Kearney (State Representative), Gloria Conway (Editor, Charlestown Patriot) and Mon O'Shea (Associate Dean, Bunker Hill Community College) about youth violence in Charlestown. Conway, Kearney and O'Shea complain that the media has exaggerated the violence in Charlestown; that youth violence is a problem across the city. Greg Pilkington reports on his conversation with James Nabrit (attorney for the plaintiffs, Brown v. Board of Education) about busing as a means to achieve school desegregation. Pilkington reports that Nabrit says that busing is a necessary remedy for school desegregation.
19:30:00: Ed Baumeister introduces the Evening Compass broadcast. Opening credits roll. Baumeister reports that today's school attendance was 52,631 out of 76,127; that school attendance has risen each day since school opened; that a bus carrying white students was stoned in Jamaica Plain. Baumeister comments that coverage of the busing crisis has moved from daily statistics to larger issues of resistance and a white minority school population. Baumeister reports that Bob Schwartz (Educational Advisor to the Mayor) fears that a minority white school system in Boston will lead to a decline in the quality of education; that Kevin White (Mayor, City of Boston) favors a metropolitan desegregation plan. Baumeister reports that Thomas Atkins (President, NAACP) is not worried about a white minority population in the schools. 19:32:22: Pam Bullard reports on resistance to busing in Hyde Park. Bullard reports that over 600 African American students attend Hyde Park High School with 900 white students; that the school has been calm this year; that police are stationed outside of the school; that there was a heavy police presence in the school last year due to trouble between African American and white students; that residents of Hyde Park are still heavily opposed to busing. Visual: Footage of buses pulling up to Hyde Park High School; of white students walking toward the school; of African American and white students entering the school. Footage of Paul Murphy (Hyde Park parent) saying that he will never support busing; that the school appears calm but there is great tension within. Ginny McCarthy (Hyde Park parent) says that there is very strong antibusing sentiment in Hyde Park; that residents are not able to vent their feelings because of the strong police presence. William Wager (Hyde Park parent) says that he resents seeing police officers lining the streets. Sylvia Connaughton (Hyde Park parent) says that the antibusing movement has been silenced; that all forms of antibusing protest have been outlawed; that she will continue to fight the court order nonviolently. Pauline Haley (Hyde Park parent) says that the strong police presence does not allow for any form of protest. McCarthy says that antibusing residents will fight the court order through political means; that the antibusing movement must stay united and visible; that people should fight the court order, not leave the city. Connaughton agrees that the antibusing movement must stay active and visible; that the antibusing movement will not give up and accept busing. Eddie Remondi (Hyde Park parent) says that the antibusing movement must fight the court order through civil disobedience, citing the example of Martin Luther King; that the movement must fight in the courts and in the political arena. Wager says that the antibusing movement must create turmoil throughout the city through marches and lawful demonstrations; that the movement must avoid violence. 19:37:26: Baumeister introduces Gary Griffith's report on complaints lodged against the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) by residents of Charlestown, South Boston and Roxbury. V: Footage Bill MacDonald (Boston Police Department) saying that the TPF is a well-disciplined and effective unit with expertise in crowd control. Griffith reports that the TPF are the elite corps of the Boston Police Department; that residents of South Boston and Charlestown have charged the TPF with police brutality. V: Footage of TPF officers gathered at the side of a street in Charlestown. A traveling shot follows one officer to his car. Footage of Joseph Rowan (Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Department) saying that the TPF reacts to violence directed at them by residents; that there may be isolated cases of brutality; that residents are encouraged to file complaints; that all complaints are investigated. Griffith reports that many TPF officers were previously regular duty police officers; that the TPF includes an emergency services unit, a canine unit, and an anti-crime unit; that TPF officers do not get paid more than regular police officers; that TPF officers may make additional money working overtime. V: Footage of Rowan saying that the TPF officers are carefully selected; that they are trained to work as a group; that TPF officers are stable, hardworking and are not afraid to perform their duties. Griffith reports that TPF officers have been called "drug-crazed animals." V: Footage of William Johnston (Boston Police Department) saying that that TPF officers are not "mean." Val Williams (Boston Police Department) says that the TPF has to deal with difficult situations; that rumors of TPF behavior have been exaggerated. Griffith asks Kathy Fitzpatrick (Boston Police Department) if she is involved in crowd control. She responds that she performs the same job as the men; that residents of South Boston and Charlestown are venting their frustration on the TPF. Griffith reports that TPF officers do not work in the neighborhoods; that they are called into difficult situations in which they must act quickly and forcefully. Baumeister asks Griffith if the TPF cultivates their fierce reputation in the city. Griffith says that the TPF officers like to play up their roles as "the hard guys"; that the TPF officers do not appreciate the rumors that circulate about TPF brutality; that he did not ask the officers about the allegations against TPF in the Rabbit Inn case or other cases. 19:43:16: Baumeister reports that East Boston has been the neighborhood least affected by court-ordered busing; that under Phase II desegregation, the East Boston district remains 95% white, 3% African American and 2% other minority; that the geographical isolation of the neighborhood makes the busing of students difficult; that the district high school will be open to students city-wide next year; that other East Boston schools will be unaffected next year. V: Footage of the entrance of the Callahan Tunnel. Traveling shot from a car driving through the tunnel. Baumeister reports that African American students have been bused into East Boston under Phase II desegregation; that buses are quietly escorted to the schools; that most students bused out of East Boston have chosen to attend city-wide magnet schools. V: Footage of a bus passing through toll booth. Footage of a white male student saying that he chose to attend Boston English High School because of its academic reputation; that he does not mind being bused; that his friends in East Boston tell him not to attend school. A white female student at a bus stop says that people tell her not to go to school. Shots of students boarding a bus in East Boston. Baumeister reports that many residents of East Boston strongly oppose busing. V: Footage of Rose DiScisio (East Boston resident) saying that many in East Boston will not allow their children to be bused; that there will be trouble in East Boston next year if students are bused out. Baumeister reports that DiScisio helps run the East Boston Information Center; that the East Boston Information Center is connected to ROAR (Restore Our Alienated Rights), the city-wide antibusing organization. Baumeister reports on the formation of two organizations formed to counter the antibusing movement in East Boston: EBQE (East Bostonians for Quality Education) and East Boston People Against Racism. V: Footage of Mina DeFilippo (East Boston resident) saying that she sends her children to Martin Luther King School in Dorchester; that her children are happy there; that she is a member of East Boston People Against Racism. Mrs. Jay DiGiangregorio (East Boston resident) says that her child has been sent to the Samuel Adams School in East Boston; that the school is overcrowded and lacks adequate facilities; that a nearby school is not overcrowded; that she will take her child out of the school system before the situation gets worse next year. DeFilippo says that her neighbors have insulted her in the streets for allowing her children to be bused; that she will continue to put her children on the bus. Evelyn Babin (East Boston resident) says that the antibusing movement is not causing trouble; that the other side tries to make the antibusing movement look bad. Baumeister reports that the organizations on both sides of the busing issue have support among East Boston residents; that many residents will wait until next year before getting involved in the busing debate. 19:50:16: Judy Stoia reports that the past two days have been relatively peaceful in Charlestown; that community leaders think reports of violence may have been exaggerated by the media. V: Footage of police officers lined up at an ice cream truck outside of Charlestown High School. Footage of Stoia interviewing Dennis Kearney (State Representative), Gloria Conway (Editor, Charlestown Patriot) and Mon O'Shea (Associate Dean, Bunker Hill Community College) on the steps of the Bunker Hill Monument. O'Shea says that it is normal for adolescents to act up; that the youth violence in Charlestown may not be related to race issues. Conway says that it is easy for kids to get caught up in the action of the moment. O'Shea says that very young children were caught up in an angry crowd on Monday evening; that it is dangerous for children to get caught up in violence. Conway says that racism is present in Charlestown, but not overwhelming; that one racist person can paint most of the graffiti in a neighborhood; that most people are concerned with the safety of their children. Kearney says that the majority of residents are shocked when they hear someone yell racial epithets at a bus of African American schoolchildren. Conway says that she has been active in the antibusing movement; that the antibusing movement has repudiated violence and has conducted peaceful demonstrations. Stoia comments that most people outside of Charlestown see it as a violent community. O'Shea says that violence is a problem in most urban environments; that there is violence in Charlestown, but it is still a good community. 19:55:07: Baumeister reports that the court case which brought desegregation to Boston schools is related to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case; that 17 lawyers worked to bring the Brown case to the US Supreme Court. Greg Pilkington reports that five of the lawyers from the Brown case have died; that four of those lawyers are now judges (Thurgood Marshall, Spotswood Robinson, Constance Baker Motley and Robert Carter). Pilkington reports on a conversation about busing with another one of the lawyers, James Nabrit, who is retired and living in Washington D.C. Pilkington reports that Nabrit said that quality education is not possible in a segregated school system; that Nabrit believes the antibusing movement is not sincere when they claim that the quality of education suffers under busing; that in a segregated system, African American schools will be of lesser quality than white schools; that both whites and African Americans suffer from the adverse effects of segregation; that busing is necessary remedy if it is the only way to desegregate schools. 19:57:36: Baumeister closes the show. He makes a joke about getting reading lessons before the next show to improve his delivery of the news. Credits roll.
Collection: Evening Compass, The
Date Created: 09/11/1975