Digital Commonwealth

Evening Compass

Item Information

Title:
Evening Compass
Description:
Day 3, year 2 of desegregation. Reporters on set give accounts of day's events in school system. Ed Baumeister opens with press conference in which Metropolitan Distric Commission Police (MDC) Superintendent Lawrence Carpenter and mayoral spokesperson Peter Meade comment on student safety and “minority white” school system. Clip of Robert Donahue of School Department on student suspensions. Reporter Pam Bullard presents statistical figures for racial makeup of schools. Clip of Cardinal Medeiros on white influx to parochial schools. WGBH reporters discuss political significance of majority African American schools. At police command center, officers monitor communications to spot trouble and coordinate efforts of State, MDC, and Boston police forces: George Landry of Boston Police Department comments on the professional rivalry between groups. Reporter Gary Griffith reports on South Boston residents who are less vocal in protest than in year 1. Stills of bandaged Michael Coakley, allegedly beaten by the Tactical Patrol Force (TPF). Claims against brutality of TPF. Reporter Paul deGive discusses Charlestown residents' resentment of media and threatened retaliation against media presence. Stills of peaceful Charlestown marchers filling street. Gloria Conway, editor of Charlestown Patriot comments on the peaceful demonstration. Pam Bullard reports on location about Joseph Lee elementary school in Dorchester (first busing site) exterior and open classrooms. Lee School Principal Frances Kelley talks about school's program. Children line up to board bus; wave goodbye from inside bus as it pulls away. 2:12:09: Ed Baumeister introduces the show. Opening credits. Baumeister gives summary of the day's events: no arrests related to the schools; an orderly demonstration in Charlestown. Visual: Footage of the day's press conference by city officials. Baumeister asks if there are plans to reduce police presence. Lawrence Carpenter (MDC Police Superintendent) replies that he does not know; Peter Meade (Mayor's Office) doubts that there will be a reduction. Baumeister notes the absence of top officials from daily press conference; that present attendance levels in Boston schools indicate that white students are in the minority. V: Footage of Robert Donahue (Boston School Department) reporting on discipline in the schools. Donahue gives information on new student registration for the following day. Baumeister reports that attendance was 52,109 (68,4%). 2:16:01: Pam Bullard reports on the percentages of white and minority children in Boston schools. Bullard reports that under the court-ordered desegregation plan, 60 of 162 Boston schools are projected to be predominantly African American; that 46 of 115 elementary schools are projected to be predominantly African American; that current attendance levels put 61 of 115 elementary schools predominantly African American. Bullard reports that school officials fear that white children will become a minority in Boston schools. V: Footage of Meade talking about desegregation leading to a white minority in other urban school systems. Meade says that one could project a non-white majority in the future based on elementary school enrollments; that racial imbalance in Boston schools is unfortunate. Bullard reports that elementary enrollment is down 18% from previous year; that 73 whites of 306 have attended the Lee School so far; that 85 of 145 whites have attended the Morris School so far; that 86 of 136 whites have attended the Ripley School so far; that 75 of 148 whites have attended the Kilmer School so far. Bullard reports that many white parents enrolled children in private schools to avoid eventual busing; that Catholic schools are serving as a haven for anti-busers despite a pledge to the contrary by Humberto Cardinal Medeiros (Archdiocese of Boston). V: Footage of Medeiros saying that he would examine enrollment numbers at Catholic schools before determining any punishment for those who enrolled to avoid busing. Bullard reports that school officials are uncertain if white students will return. 2:21:49: Baumeister asks Bullard about the significance of a majority non-white school system. Bullard replies that a majority non-white school system may not receive sufficient funds from a white city government; that the city risks losing its white population. Baumeister reports on a rivalry among state, MDC and Boston police forces during the 1974 school year. 2:22:33: Donovan Moore reports on coordination among state, MDC and Boston police forces. Moore reports that school desegregation requires 100 federal marshals, 250 MDC police officers, 350 state troopers and 1,000 Boston police officers. V: Footage of officers sitting in front of radios at communications center in Boston Police Headquarters. George Landry (Boston Police Department) explains how the communications center operates. Officers are shown looking at a map of the city and working the radios. Moore reports that the center can communicate instantly with officers on the streets. Moore lists the different police forces. V: Shots of an MDC officer on horseback; of state police in front of South Boston High School; of Boston police officers walking on the street. Footage of Landry admitting to a spirit of competiveness among the police forces. Landry denies any hostility. 2:25:49: Gary Griffith reports that South Boston remains a stronghold of the anti-busing movement; that South Boston has been relatively quiet since the opening of school three days ago. V: Shots of photographs of Nancy Yotts (South Boston Information Center); of students in front of a high school; of African American students boarding buses. Griffith reports that the SBIC has accused the police department's Tactical Patrol Force (TPF) of police brutality; that the SBIC has produced witnesses including Michael Coakley, who says he was beaten by police. Griffith reports that the SBIC has demanded the withdrawal of the TPF from South Boston; that Warren Zanaboni (South Boston Marshals) says he tries to get South Boston youth off the streets at night. V: Shots of photographs of an SBIC poster in a store window; of Michael Coakley, with bandaged head and arm in a sling. Shot of a photograph of Zanaboni. Griffith reports on small skirmishes between police and South Boston youth during the previous three nights; that the MDC police and the police in South Boston have a good working relationship with the South Boston Marshals; that the TPF does not have a good relationship with the marshals; that four arrests were made by the TPF the previous evening; that South Boston residents say the trouble would subside if the TPF withdrew. 2:28:55: Paul deGive reports that relations between between Charlestown residents, the police and the news media show slight improvement; that rumors circulated in the morning that residents would target the media; that the media tried not to antagonize the residents during the mother's march. V: Shots of photographs of mother's march in Charlestown; of prayer meeting at the St. Francis de Sales church; of camerapeople covering the march; of peaceful street scenes in Charlestown; of police patrolling streets. DeGive reports that the police did not crowd the marchers; that Superintendent Joseph Jordan (Boston Police Department) was calmly watching events develop; that police were quietly patrolling the streets. V: Footage of Gloria Conway (Editor, Charlestown Patriot) interviewed by deGive. Conway says that the police were wise to allow a peaceful demonstration because it allowed residents to vent their frustrations; that the police presence today seemed less aggressive and threatening; that many officers were covering their regular beats. DeGive reports that Conway, Dennis Kearney (State Representative) and community leaders requested that the TPF not be deployed in Charlestown. [ V: Shot of a photograph of Kearney in street. DeGive reports that Mon O'Shea (Associate Dean, Bunker Hill Community College) accused the TPF of creating a military-like atmosphere; that community leaders agree that some police presence is needed; that Kearney is seeking a way to keep Charlestown youth in check. 2:34:16: Baumeister adds that the atmosphere was calm and attendance was low at Charlestown High School. Bullard reports from the Joseph Lee School in Dorchester. Bullard notes that the Boston School Committee's decision to ignore the racial imbalance at the Lee School's opening provoked the lawsuit leading to court-ordered desegregation in Boston; that four years later, the Lee School is still racially imbalanced. V: Shots of photographs of the Lee School; of groups African American kids outside of Franklin Field Housing Project; of school classrooms. Bullard notes that the Lee School is located in an inner city neighborhood; that white students from West Roxbury were to be bused into the Lee School; that 73 whites out of 306 have attended the Lee School so far; that the school is an excellent but underutilized facility. V: Footage of Bullard interviewing Frances Kelley (Principal, Joseph Lee School). Kelley talks about enrichment programs at the Lee School. She says that the school opened with no problems; that white parents may be staying away due to safety concerns; that in the past, parents have been very satisfied with the Lee School. Footage of children exiting school and boarding buses. Bullard notes that children assigned to the Lee this year will stay for subsequent grades; that desegregation has failed so far at the Lee. V: Footage of African American children outside of Lee School; of white children leaving the school on a bus. 2:40:07: Baumeister talks about the evening's late newscast and closes show. Credits roll.
Date:
September 10, 1975
Format:
Film/Video
Genre:
News
Location:
WGBH
Collection (local):
Evening Compass, The
Subjects:
Busing for school integration
Education
African American students
Race relations
Private schools
Places:
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)Boston
Boston (Mass.)
Charestown (Boston, Mass.)
Dorchester (Boston, Mass.)
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Publisher:
Evening Compass, The