Interview with Rhody McCoy

Now, could you talk a little bit about the, what the plans, and during the summer of '68, when you knew there was going to be a strike again in the fall of '68. You knew that the teachers were going to walk. What were your plans with, ah, the community board?


Well, we had built up, ah, some very good relationships with, ah, the colleges in the area. And we knew that if the teachers were going to go out, we'd have to have teachers. And so we recruited teachers. And I think we recruited, ah, some 500 teachers that, ah, came in, ah, from Ivy League schools and local colleges, who had heard about the experiment, who had read about it. Ah, some of the college professors who were in charge of student teachers had talked about it and lectured about it. It was in fact a true educational experience for many of them. And so, we set this process up to go and hire replacements. And of course we had to get permission from the school system to pay them. So we figured the best way to do it is to go ahead and hire the people. Remember, we are a legally constituted board. Even though they don't want to admit it, but we were. So we hired the teachers. And put them and processed them so that the system had to pay them. Now the teachers were out. Now that we had all of these new teachers. And you obviously must know that they were all White. There were very few Black teachers, period. So, our question was never- and, by the way the parents interviewed them the same way that they're interviewed previously. So there was a never a question with us of Black versus White. It was, how do we get the best education for our young people.