St. Louis busing goes smoothly
St. Louis — Students arriving for the opening day of classes under the city's new desegregation plan complained of excessive security Wednesday, but school officials were pleased to see classes start without violence. Roving armed guards supplemented undercover and uniformed police officers assigned to deal with possible disturbances, but there were no violent incidents. School officials, once apprehensive about opening day, beamed and said the plan was "going like clockwork."
Black students arriving at Cleveland High School were greeted by football players wearing their jerseys, and white students getting off buses at the formerly all-black Soldan High School were met by a welcoming party handing out multicolored ribbons reading "Let's Make It Work."
A small group of parents had called for a boycott of classes to show displeasure with the forced busing. Most school buses were running at half capacity, but officials said they expected attendance to be about normal for the opening day of school.
Busing plans were also being carried out this month in Indianapolis; Pittsburgh; Cleveland; and Austin, Texas. Officials in each city reported that parents had initially expressed concern about the busing programs but that the desegregation plans were going through without a hitch.