Interview with Rhody McCoy

So, the teachers were transferred. Can you just talk us through, very briefly, the strike in May of '68 after the transfers were put, ah, it was recommended that these 19 teachers be transferred. What happened next?


Ah, the teachers, some of the teachers felt that they, they were being, ah, unduly criticized in being asked to leave. And, ah, the union, ah, said that we had not followed due process, and therefore it was not legal or appropriate for us, or professional, for us to remove these teachers. And then I think the, there was another little glitch in here that, ah, when you brought these teachers up, we asked them to go down to the board for reassignment, which was under the regulations and the rules of the, of the proposal. They felt, or at least Dr. Donovan approached and said, "If you let them go one at a time, we can absorb them without any problems." Well, this is not the function of Bernie Donovan any longer, if you acknowledge that it is a legally constituted board under the rules, and it made its decision, who are you to decide? Well, that brought the union down. And the union said, "Either you take these teachers back or we strike." And so we refused, and they pulled all the teachers out. And then they went city-wide again. So here we are back in the limelight again, of being cast as the monsters and doing illegal things, and well, that made everybody afraid at that particular point.