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Mayor Kevin White at a press conference
[White and DiGrazia speak about the opening of schools]
Original Airdate: 9/7/1976

Length: 00:12:34
Item Type: newstape - original footage

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Full Description

Visual: Members of the press are assembled for a press conference at City Hall with Kevin White (Mayor, City of Boston) and Robert DiGrazia (Police Commissioner, City of Boston). White begins reading a statement, then stops because there is a problem with sound.

V: White reads a prepared statement. He says that school opens tomorrow; that fewer students face assignments to new schools this year; that more students are attending the schools of their choice; that many schools are benefitting from programs linked with universities and businesses; that three new schools are opening; that he is confident that the school year will be productive. White says that the city is prepared to guarantee the safety of all schoolchildren; that he hopes to reduce the police presence at the schools this year; that police will restore order if disruptions occur. White urges citizens to share in the responsibility for a peaceful school opening; that the city will focus on improving schools this year.

V: DiGrazia reads a prepared statement. He expresses confidence in a peaceful school opening. He reports that police have received instructions to allow peaceful demonstrations, but to maintain public order; that police officers have been instructed to use minimum force and to treat those arrested with respect and courtesy. DiGrazia says that police will not tolerate any acts of violence or disruption; that these acts are often committed by only a few citizens.

V: White invites questions from the reporters. A reporter asks DiGrazia what kind of preparations have been made for additional police support. DiGrazia says that Massachusetts State Police will be assigned to South Boston; that MDC Police will be assigned to Charlestown; that US Marshals will be present for the opening of schools. DiGrazia says that the atmosphere on the streets seems calm; that a few citizens are engaging in disruptive behavior; that the atmosphere seems calmer than in the previous two years; that police presence will be less visible than last year; that additional police will stand by for support. DiGrazia says that the police have not received any indication that there will be outside agitators at the schools. DiGrazia says that he hopes there will be little overtime for police officers this year. DiGrazia says that uniformed State Police officers will be assigned to South Boston High School; that community service officers and juvenile officers will be assigned to monitor the other schools.

V: A reporter asks about cooperative efforts between the School Department, the city of Boston, and the Police Department. White says that the three entities have been working together on school desegregaton for three years; that differences about the school budget have not affected efforts to achieve a successful school opening. DiGrazia says that police will continue to enforce ordinances forbidding the assembly of more than three people along a bus route, or assemblies within 100 yards of schools.
Shot of Pam Bullard.
White says that he would like to remove police from schools as soon as possible; that police presence hinders a healthy learning atmospheres; that police can be removed if citizens refrain from disrupting the schools. A reporter asks DiGrazia to clarify the term "minimum force" in police conduct. DiGrazia says that he hopes police can dissuade citizens from engaging in disruptive behavior; that he would like to see the police removed from the schools as soon as possible. DiGrazia refuses to elaborate on minimum tolerance policy guidelines, but says that warnings will be given to disruptors before action is taken. DiGrazia says that the school department instituted the use of metal detectors at the schools; that they will be used again this year. DiGrazia refuses to give out information on the number of police officers assigned to the schools

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