THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, August 27, 1968
Page Eight THE MICHIGAN DAILY
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BLACKS MAKE DEMANDS:
By JOEL BLOCK
Black students at Ann Arbc
High School won a partial victo
this summer in their fight again
alleged racism at the school.
Fourteen of 21 demands pr
sented by the school's 125 blac
students on May 27 were approvi
by a joint black student-facul
committee and passed by t]
Board of Education.
This action followed two wee:
of student unrest at the hig
school which included a boyco
of classes by black students, figh
between black and white studeni
the imposition of "partial marti
law" by school authorities, and
week-long protest by pickets fro
the University community.
Racial tension between th
school's 125 black students an
its primarily white administratio
and staff revealed itself in la
May when a curriculum question
naire was distributed to black sti
dents by the administration.
The survey was conducted
response to charges that the hig
school was forcing blacks into ti
"general currciulum" rather tha
the study program for colleg
The controversial questionnair
prompted black students to for
an ad hoc organization to dra
demands forzreforms in the hig:
school. The group was set u.
within the structure of the yout:
council of the NAACP and con
tained nearly every black studen
in the school.
The black students boycotte
their classes on May 24 to fore
administrators to meet with the.
throughout the day to discus
To avert another threatene,
boycott on May 27, the school'
administration agreed to hold
"tell off" where all students cou:
voice grievances against the schoc
staff. On that day, all classes wer
called off and voluntary meetini
comes to AA high
All parts of community involved
were held between faculty and in-
terested students. t
At those meetings, black stu-
dents listed 21 demands, including
the dismissal of faculty members
found guilty of bigotry, the pro-
hibition of police officers from as-
signment to the campus, a well
defined grievance procedure for
students, and a number of other.
major reforms., ,
Later that day the school's fac-
ulty appointed a committee to
study the black student demands
and recommend to the entire fac-
ulty body a course of action.
Two days later, May 29, sever-
al fights broke out between blacks
and whites in classrooms and
washrooms resulting in the brief
hospitalization of one student.
School Superintendent W. Scott
Westerman called off classes for
the remainder of the week and
the faculty adopted 14 of the black
demands with a few modifications.
The school administration also
enacted a new discipline policy of
"partial martial law" for the rest
of the school year. Starting June
3, around 25 plainclothesed and
uniformed police officers patrolled'
inside and outside the high school
Students were told they would
be immediately suspended for
breaking any of the school rules
against tardiness, passing out un-
authorized, literature, or holding
any kind of unauthorized demon-
Pickets from the University'
community protested the partial
martial law during the school
week of June 3. Members of Voice-
SDS, Citizens for New Politics,
The Bill Ayers for School Board
Committee, and People Against
Racism picketed and ,passed out
leaflets at the school's main en-
trance every morning as students
entered the building.
Superintendent W e s t e r m a n
threatened to file an injunction to
prevent the picketing but didn't
do so when advised by School
Board attorney Roscoe Bonisteel
of the legal complexities of such
The protesters caused no in-
cident as the High school students
filed past them into the building.
Two students were suspended for
passing out anti-draft literature
inside the school but were both
At a meeting held June 12, the
School Board passed the 14 black
student demands recommended by
the school's faculty. The seven de-
mands not approved by the fac-
ulty were referred to a new Bi-
Racial Citizens' Advisory Board.
The Bi-Racial Advisory Board
will work on all race problems at
the school. It will be composed of
black and white students, school
personnel, parents and commun-
The most radical reform accept-
ed by administrators was the
elimination of the practice of
marking down students' grades
because of unexcused absences.
New and "more appropriate" dis-
ciplinary measures will be de-
vised in the fall, according to
Other accepted demands were
the establishment of a Martin
Luther King award for outstand-
ing contributions in civil rights,
the establishment of a well de-
fined procedure to handle student
problems, and the appointment of
a Negro Human Relations Director
for the school.
At a June 12 meeting, two
School Board members, William
C. Godfrey and Paul H. Johnson,
charged that the Board of Edu-
cation's policy of recruiting Ne-
groes is "illegal" and "discrimina-
Their amendment to change the
three-year-old School Board pol-
icy was defeated by a large ma-
In another development, Ann
Arbor High School Principal Nich-
olas Schreiber, who had been the
target of many of the black and
white students' accusations of big-
otry, retired soon after the close
of the school year.
Schreiber was the originator of
the "partial martial law" policy
in the school.
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