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became one of silence and avoidance, especially when a member of the press telephoned. School Supt. Darrell Williams’ unavailability and refusal to return telephone calls earned him the nickname of the “phantom superintendent” from one newspaper. He finally agreed to answer questions from one newspaper if it submitted them in writing, and later agreed to talk on the telephone with a reporter from another paper. After their respective stories appeared, the superintendent was reported to have said he would give no further statements. Williams’ office also declined to answer questions about enrollment figures for the three boycotted schools in particular and the whole district in general. But as the boycott ended its second week, Williams told the school board just how effective it has been: of 1,780 students who should have enrolled in B. E. Elmore High School, Settegast Intermediate School and Hilliard Elementary School, only 736 were in classes. But school officials, despite their silence, were not inactive. Several parents told of threats of being arrested on truancy charges if their youngsters remained out of public school classes. At one point, Polly Wise, school district attendance officer, said truancy charges would be brought if the youngsters were not in class by Sept. 18. But Williams repudiated this the following day. Officials of the Houston chapter of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People said they would take any truancy cases to court. Other parents told of pressure brought on their teenaged sons or daughters to return to class or forfeit the right to play football or march in the girls’ drill team. This was persuasive to. some of the stu $ The Texas Observer PROFESSORS . . . STUDENTS Group subscriptions to the Texas Observer for the fall semester will begin with the September 15th issue and will be $1.50 per student, if ten or more subscribe and provided we may mail all copies of each issue to a single address for redistribution. As a bonus we will include, for each student subscribing, the 1964 special issue on J. Frank Dobie or, as long as the supply lasts, any one of the following: the May 12th issue on the University Freedom Movement at UT, the June 9-23 issue on race relations in Houston and on the Texas Rangers and La Huelga, or the August 4th issue on Vietnam. Send your order now; specifying your bonus selection. You may revise your order as the class rolls settle, at which time we will bill you. dents. Beverly said, of his teenaged son, “I tried reasoning with him, but that. didn’t work, so I told him that he wasn’t going to school and that’s that. You’ve got to do the same thing,” Beverly told the parents who attended the meeting at the church. A mother rose to say that she had had the same trouble with her son and ended it by personally returning his school-issued football practice shoes to the school. If their attempts at bringing truancy charges would be thwarted by the enrollment of the students in other schools, whether public or private, the school officials still held another threat before the parents: Unless their youngsters were enrolled in the system’s schools by Sept. 22, they would be required to take an examination upon applying for readmission to the system after the boycott ends. This offered the possibility that some students would be made to repeat a grade if the examinations were not satisfactory a situation not encouraging to the children but one which’ did not seem to bother their parents. The Houston NAACP chapter began quiet attempts at mediation during the first full week of the boycott as its leaders met with Williams for more than an hour one afternoon and listened to his side of the story. Their later attempts at meetings failed, and their telephone calls were not returned, according to one NAACP official. Meanwhile, there were meetings between the NAACP and the boycott leaders also. AS IT BECAME increasingly obvious that ‘ neither side would yield, the boycotters announced their next move. “We are prepared to open our own private schools,” said Beverly. “We have of, fers of space, and we have at least three volunteer teachers already.” NAACP officials sent telegrams to Williams and to the seven board members calling on each for an emergency session of the board with the boycott leaders so that grievances could be aired completely and so that both sides would know officially where the other stood. There was more official silence for three days. Finally, the NAACP, its role as a mediator an apparent failure, openly endorsed the strike and urged parents to keep their children out of the public schools until the board met with them. The civil rights leaders also charged Wil MEETINGS THE THURSDAY CLUB of Dallas meets each the Downtown YMCA, 605 No. Ervay St., Dallas. Good discussion. You’re welcome. Informal, no dues. The TRAVIS COUNTY LIBERAL DEMO-CRATS meet at the Spanish Village, 802 Red River, at 8 p.m. on the first Thursday. You’re invited. ITEMS for this feature cost,for the first entry. 7c a word, and for each subsequent entry, 5c a word. Wo must receive them one week before the date of the issue in which they are to ha published. liams with being undemocratic and with hiding behind technicalities in refusing to meet with the boycotters unless they did things his way. On Monday morning, Sept. 11, almost 1,200 children, roughly half of Settegast’s students, enrolled in a series of Freedom Public Schools at 11 of the Baptist churches in Settegast. Twenty-four teachers, including a white teacher who said he was refused employment by the public school system, were recruited for the classes. The pickets stayed at their posts. Meanwhile, Williams made a hurried telephone call to state education officials to ask whether the boycott would mean a decrease in state aid to the system in the form of ADA \( average daily attendpossible for the system to receive the same amount of payment it normally would but under an emergency clause in the state law. But those same officials later told newsmen that the state would not consider such a request until and unless it received an official request from the school district as well as a report of the situation. No action would be launched voluntarily from Austin, they said. But J. W. Edgar, state education commissioner, has indicated that the district is by no means in immediate danger of losing any state money. Edgar says the TEA has the right to make ad \\justments “in unusual circuumstances” to prevent loss of state aid. WILLIAMS AND the board finally agreed to meet on Sept. 12 with boycott leaders. Their confrontation ended in one minor concession by the board to the boycotters: four polling places, which earlier were closed by the board after alleged voter irregularities last yeaf, would be reopened, leaving the Negroes with six places to vote instead of two. But except for that point, the board and the boycotters remained as far apart as they had been at the outset of the meeting. The boycott leaders assured the board their strike would continue. The decision to reopen the polling places was not an empty concession for the boycotters, however; two of their number have registered as candidates for a special school board election on Oct. 7, when two vacancies are to be filled. The board ordered Williams, meanwhile, to investigate the complaints by the boycott leaders and report to it later this month. The boycott leaders are continuing to use their churches for their rump school system on weekdays and to preach sermons on Sundays. The favorite subject there these days is determination. PEOPLES FOLK GUITAR Folk Guitar Instruction by experienced teacher 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. DAVID MAHLER 2405 Nueces Austin GR 7-0357