Interview with Les Campbell

OK, ho--how and when were you placed at IS-271?


Well, originally I had been a teacher at Junior High School 35 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. It was a 99 percent Black school and I was proud to be a teacher at that school and I tried to contribute much to the young people at that school. However, in February of 1968, I was suspended from that school for taking my class to a Malcolm X memorial program. The superintendent of schools at that time, Bernard Donovan, held a hearing on my teaching record, and we had, ah, literally hundreds of parents who showed at the Board of Education to support me.: The superintendent therefore felt under pressure not to fire me as a teacher. Also, at that time, Herman Ferguson, who was a consultant to the Ocean Hill-Brownsville project, had suggested to Mr. McCoy that I be brought in to the district since the district, into the Ocean Hill-Brownsville district since that district was in need of good teachers. And so Mr. McCoy called Bernard Donovan and suggested that, if, ah, he, uh wished, he could assign me to IS-271, Junior High School 271, which was the flagship school of the Ocean Hill-Brownsville project. On March the 13th, 1968, I was assigned to Junior High School 271 on a permanent basis.