Interview with Reverend John Powis

...fall of '68, are there particular scenes that come to mind when you think about the strikes during the fall of '68?


During the strike of 1968, during the fall, probably the place that I spent most of my time was in front of 271 and the scene that I remember there most, and I've often thought of it, is, a scene of children coming to school with their books, very intent. And I think they also understood the politics--just what was all going on here**. And they were really, sometimes see kids hanging out in front of school, they were intent on going to school. And the parents, many times the parents were coming with them, supporting what was, what was happening with the district. And then, maybe about 8:00 every morning, there would come these huge campus buses with all these teachers, and they're not only the teachers from 271 but from other schools. And most of them, all of the them, as a matter of fact, were White teachers and they would come and they would stand out there picketing and yelling and shouting at the children, at the teachers who were going in, and I remember being out there one morning and I got an egg right on the top of my shoulder over here. And, ah, but it was, it was, it was a scene that was, ah, and also the mounted police that were there, all in helmets, I mean and obviously there just to protect the teachers. I mean they didn't have to protect anybody else. There was, there was no one else who needed any protection.