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ticipate in as many as possible of the Democratic party precinct conventions next spring, with a view toward sending uninstructed delegates to the county, state, and national conventions. A leaflet could be prepared explaining the mechanics of precinct conventions. As a rule only about 4% of the voters bother to attend a precinct convention, which means that 2% plus one can control the floor. I have seen a half-dozen dedicated workers organize a precinct of 5,000 and turn out a majority at the precinct convention, carrying it for the liberals for the first time ever. There is a great deal that can be done to deny Johnson the Democratic nomination next year, and, if he wins the nomination, to deny him another term in office. Dis senting groups and individuals throughout the country have already made strong impact and have seriously weakened Johnson’s political base. As the efforts of the myriad groups become better coordinated over the next several months, I believe that more of Johnson’s supporters are going to back offleaving probably only Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater with the president. CI Houston’s School Board Race Houston Mrs. Charles E. White probably is the most outspoken member of the Houston school board. She is one of two Negroes on the seven-member panel and one of its three lib e r al members. She consistently has been a strong voice of opposition to the policies of the four conservatives who dominate the board and who direct a futile campaign of feet-dragging and delays in an effort to avoid compliance with desegregation orders. For these reasons and many others, Mrs. White has suddenly found herself the object of an intense campaign to defeat her at the polls on Nov. 18 when she seeks re-election to a seat she has held since 1959. But the real surprise came in the assertion by the Houston Post that the campaign to defeat her is being headed by the conservative element on the board with the support and cooperation of the school administration. The Post has charged that school officials are waging a campaign of “scare, scare, scare” in an effort not only to defeat Mrs. White but to defeat all candidates looked on as liberals and to strengthen the conservative majority on the board. Fear tactics used by top administrators in the schools include spreading of unfounded rumors that unless the conservatives win School Supt. Glenn Fletcher will be fired and replaced by a Negro; that both white and Negro children will be bussed out of their “neighborhood” schools into schools attended primarily by those of the opposite race; that white teachers will lose their jobs and will be replaced by Negro teachers; and that principals will be rotated from school to school, regardless of its dominant racial make-up. The blame for these allegedly impending moves has been laid at the feet of the board’s liberals, headed by Mrs. White. She has denied the charges. Besides Mrs. White, board president J. W. McCullough Jr. and Mrs. H. W. Cullen, all incumbents, are up for re-election to four-year terms. McCullough, Mrs. Cullen, and Dr. Ed Franklin, a dentist who opposes Mrs. White and who once previously was defeated by her, are running as a slate under the name of the Committee for Sound American Education. Its members have at various times championed what they term “neighborhood schools” and vowed to protect them. Dr. Franklin . has appeared at one principals , meeting in support of his candidacy. THE SCARE campaign is being conducted through a series of regional meetings within the Houston Independent School district. Principals, their assistants, various department heads and select teachers are invited, a source with From a Houston correspondent of the Observer. in the school system said; those with known liberal leanings carefully are omitted. The campaign is directed almost entirely at the fears of administrators and principals. During the speechesgiven by either top administration officials or the conservative candidatesthose attending are urged to return to their schools and spread the word. Among those present at the first meeting was Dr. H. S. Brannen, school district business manager, who told the standing-room-only crowd he was “tired” of having to sit next to Mrs. White at board meetings and having to listen to what she had to say. More than $1,000 was raised at this first meeting when those present were given the “opportunity” of making a “free will” contribution to the effort. Later, some elementary school teachers were asked by their department heads to donate $5 each to the cause. Still another teacher was asked by his principal to approach local businesses and solicit funds for the election of the conservative slate. Another teacher observed that although these approaches were placed on a voluntary basis on the part of the teacher, the principal left little doubt that refusal to help would be remembered when it came time to evaluate the teacher’s work. The campaign has spread to ParentTeacher Associations. A principal at a school in the affluent southwestern part of Houston told a PTA group he had come “to alert parents to the fact that there are elements in the school board in favor of bussing your children across town” to Negro schools. Board member Mrs. Howard Barns tone, a liberal, quoted one worried mother as saying that the principal had told the mother that if the conservatives are not elected, 200 white children from his school would be bussed to Negro schools and vice versa. The school district on Aug. 30 announced the. discontinuance of 26 bus routes that under federal court orders previously had transported Negro pupils past white schools to reach predominantly Negro schools and vice versa, but it still left some bus routes in operation ferrying pupils from racial pockets to a school attended by their race. One of the charges being leveled in this current campaign is that teachers’ cumulative sick pay would be taken from them and the funds used to provide free bus service to racially mix all schools. MRS. WHITE commented, “It is inconceivable that any teacher in the Houston school district can believe the wild allegations being made … “It is regrettable that at a time when the attention of the nation is focused on education, those pretending interest in Houston schools would engage in a vicious personal attack rather than face squarely the education issues in order that the children of Houston may be better prepared to meet the technological and advanced changes of today.” Board president McCullough defended the meetings, saying that it did not bother him that top school administrators are taking an active part in the campaign to unseat Mrs. White. “They [the administrators] have a right to stand up for what they believe,” he said. He said people at the meetings were told what “might happen if the flow of the board got into the hands of others.” Mrs. White, who had delayed announcing whether she would seek reelection, last week announced that she will make the race. In her announcement she said that one teacher had told her that she, the teacher, was the sole support of her three children and feared that if she did not contribute to the dominant conservative faction’s campaign she might risk the disfavor of her principal. “There is some hope in the fact that those who have been a part of this organized program of coercion are ashamed to admit it,” Mrs. White said. “In fact, they deny it, even though they have been identified positively with the time and place and quoted directly by responsible persons. It is saddening that my opponents apparently three members of the slate of the dominant faction who ‘have chosen to run against me are again erecting a frightful straw man labelled ‘race prejudice’.” 0 October 27, 1967 3