Interview with Reverend John Powis
QUESTION 20
INTERVIEWER:

Okay, the teachers were asked, the ten teachers were transferred reinstated. What was the effect when they were brought back into the schools?

JOHN POWIS:

The effect of the teachers returning to Ocean Hill-Brownsville on all three occasions which happened during the strike, created total chaos within the schools mostly, because not only did they come back but with them came tremendous amounts of police, plain clothes and uniform.

INTERVIEWER:

Could you just start that again and say, the, the teachers that had been transferred and were reinstated.



INTERVIEWER:

Okay, what was the effect of the transferred teachers when they were reinstated and brought back into the schools?

JOHN POWIS:

When the teachers that were transferred were ordered back into the schools, which happened three times, ah, each time they came back with more people. Ah, first there were state people who were supposed to keep their eye on the situation. Then there was union people. Then there was Board of Ed people. Then there was people from the mayor's office, Human Rights. All of them were told to go in together with large numbers of police, both in uniform and in plain clothes. So the schools became, no one knew exactly who was who in the school. You couldn't really tell except that these ten teachers had to come back into those schools and the result was just total chaos. All the, all the unity that was there before, all the education that was going on, everything just stopped. And then of course the teachers who were there felt bad because they had to accept the other teachers because not only did the ten come back but then the other ones who wanted to come back came with them. And each class would have like two teachers, a union teacher and another teacher. And it was chaos. It was, it was total chaos.