Ann Arbor High School's Negro students aired their grievances and presented suggestions for corrections this morning during a three-hour, emotion-packed "tell-off" attended by the high school faculty, administration and the superintendent of schools. During the meeting, termed "very constructive" by Edward Welch Jr., president of the Youth Council of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a list of 21 demands "to correct racial inequities" at AAHS was presented to the adult participants. Negro and white students were meeting in what was described as a relatively quiet session at 1:30 p.m. Original plans called for white students to gather separately, but when Negro students appeared in the auditorium and asked they be heard again, "no overwhelming disagreement" was voiced by whites, according to Albert Gallup, assistant principal of Huron High, who was on hand. Corridors were quiet. Some Negro parents were ent, as was Dr. Albert H. Wheel-i er, president of the state conference of the National Assoeiation for the Advancement of Colored People. Neither session was open to the press. This morning's meeting was scheduled in the wake of a confrontation Friday between Negro students and the school's administration. Negro students boyeotted classes that day in protest of a curriculum questionnaire directed only at Negro students. Following a day of discussion with representatives of the adI ministration Friday, the Negro students requested a facultywide meeting today to air their grievances and discuss various students' charges of racial discrimination at the high school. The high school staff did not respond to the Negroes' grievances this morning. "I told the students that this meeting was a 'tell-off' for them and a 'listen-in' for the faculty," Supt. W. Scott Westerman Jr. said. It is expected that a formal reaction from the 'faculty will be formulated soon. The faculty and administration's response will be "a program of action," Westerman declared. Westerman remarked that the major advantage of this morning's session is that it will hopefully help -to "close the racial gap and the generation gap." -- = - What happens in the future, however, is the "crucial" point, Westerman added. Three or four individual speeches by Negro students opened the session. The floor was then opened to individual grievances. Frequent loud applause and shouts punctuated the meeting. Westerman said that a number of individual teachers, administrators and counselors were charged with racial discrimination by the students. Many of the charges were "hard to take," Weste.rman said. He added that all charges will be thoroughly investigated. Welch lauded today's session as an opportunity to "express our grievances." "I think it was very constructive," he said. Mrs. Jesse Hill, adviser to the NAACP Youth Council who was present, agreed that the meeting was "good." "A confrontation was needed," she added. "We are waiting to see wnat me response wiu De to the students' demands." The 21 demands to "correct racial inequities" presented this morning are as follows: I 1) Examine and modify discipline policies and practices in the schools and prohibit differential and excessive punishment or suspension of Negroes. 2) Elimínate the practice of marking down of student grades because of truancy, smoking, etc. 3) Elimínate the grade point average as a condition for students serving or wishing to serve on all student activities such as student c o u n c i 1, homecoming queen, etc. If a sufficient number of black students are not selected in the usual procedures, then the black students will select one black student for every five white students. 4) Evalúate all teachers, and other school personnel, blackl and white, for racial prejudicel and unjust actions against Ne-I groes. Those found to discrimi- nate in any way should be dismissed. 5) Provide in the contract between the Teacher's Association iand the Board of Education that tenure provisions do not apply where school personnel are found guility of racial discrimipation. 6) Prohibit the assignment of bolice officers (in or out of uniform) in the school. 7) Provide compensatory academie, psychological and social services for all children, Negro or white, from low-income families. 8) Provide for better quality of education for Negro students. 9) Employ more Negroes as administrators, principáis, counselors and teachers (those who have demonstrated a concern and involvement in eliminating the social injustices associated with racial discrimination). 10) In addition to honors for the college and university prep curriculums for outstanding students, awards should also be given to those in other curriculums, s u c h as Industrial Arts, Stenographic, etc. 11) Establish a Dr. Martin Luther King award, beginning this June, in recognition of individual black students or organizations who made outstanding contributions in the field of civil or human rights. The award should be on the same level as the academie awards given to graduating seniors yearly. Recommendations for this award should be made by a committee composed of active civil rights leaders in the school and in the community. 12) Form a Citizens Advisory Board made up of parents, community residents, teachers and students selected by black students to work on all race relations problems of the schools. 13) Employ a Negro assistañf personnel officer with special priority to recruit black personnel. 14) Replace all racially biased books. 15) Pro vide a well defined grievance procedure to handle student problems. 16) Use the school newspaper to report progress in race relaI tions and related problems. 17) Send a communication to the NAACP Youth Council and adviser by the administration prior to making any major decisions affecting black students at AAHS. 18) Hold a civil rights assembly at least twice a year with compulsory attendance by all students. This assembly should be planned and implemented by a committee composed of equal representation of black and white students. Method of selecting the committee would be arranged later. Effort should involve active civil rights leaders in the community. 19) Establish an intensive human relations in-service training program for teachers, and administrators. Include black civil rights leaders in the training. 20) Provide non-college bound students with a high quality education in skilled trades, inch as electricity and plumbing; in technical areas such as electronics, drafting and mechanics; and in other types of jobs which have future demands. 21) Hire a Negro as the human relations director for the Ann Arbor school system, a man who has demonstrated the ability to successfully deal with race relation problems. Regular classes are expectcd to be held tomorrow. An assembly to explain the results of ioday's sessions is also slated for tomorrow.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
Huron High School
Ann Arbor Teachers' Association (AATA)
Ann Arbor Board of Education
Ann Arbor Public Schools - Curriculum
Ann Arbor High School
Ann Arbor News
Edward Welch Jr.
Albert H. Wheeler