School Committee Decides Not to Use Police Patrols
The Cambridge School Committee has decided not to assign police patrols to Cambridge High and Latin School when students return to classes Monday.
Cambridge schools are closed this week for the mid-winter vacation.
At a press conference in the Hotel Commander Monday afternoon, school committee members announced that police will be called in only in the case of an emergency. They defined an emergency as a situation in which a group of students refuses to disband at the faculty's request.
The Committee also announced, however, that the school will distribute identification badges to students and faculty and will station teaching aides at all entrances to check identification.
Cambridge Mayor Albert E. Vellucci, chairman of the School Committee, said Monday that this move was designed to "weed out the strangers from the school."
The proposals were drafted by the school's headmaster, Raymond G. D'Arcy '26 and the Acting Superintendent of Cambridge schools, Frank J. Frisoli. It is D'Arcy's contention that Boston high-school students were at least partially responsible for a confrontation between blacks and whites at the school last Friday, according to Albert H. Giroux, public information director for the school.
D'Arcy thought that students from Boston had circulated in and out of the school, and added to the tension generated by the attack of two Puerto Rican students by bands of black students earlier in the week.
The confrontation Friday added weight to the growing notion among Cambridge residents that measures must be taken to make the city's schools safer.
Some members of the community and at least one member of the school committee, Lorraine A. Butler, were "definitely for putting police into the school."
Donald A. Fantini, a member of the school committee, called in 30 members of the Cambridge Tactical Police Force to help dismiss school. By the time the Force arrived, however, nearly all stu-dents had left the school area.
The Force marched a small group of white students to an MBTA bus, twice breaking formation to move back a small crowd of taunting black students, but did nothing else.
"Tension between blacks and whites has been simmering for a long time. I think the turbulence in the Boston schools provided a spark to break that tension," said Giroux.
A shouting match between blacks and whites took place last spring at Cambridge Latin, and nearly 100 black students confronted Frisoli in his office last fall after he refused to comply with a list of their demands.