Black students were bused out of their schools about noon yesterday as thousands of South Boston residents protested forced busing and attendance in the city's school system dropped to almost half.
Buses arrived shortly before noon at the seven schools in South Boston and transferred black pupils to buildings at the University of Massachusetts where the children finished the school day.
The decision to move the pupils was based on the recommendation of Charles V. Barry, an assistant superintendent in charge of South Boston schools, and is part of a contingency plan for student safety.
An Estimated 7000
Police estimated that as many as 7000 anti-busing protesters marched down Broadway--the main street in South Boston--and joined several state legislators, city councilors and school committee members in what a police spokesman called a "very peaceful demonstration."
The marchers--including South Boston parents and their truant children--sang 'God Bless America' and carried signs stating their opposition to Boston's busing plan.
Opponents of forced busing have also called on whites to boycott schools citywide. The Boston School Department reported that attendance in Boston schools was 51 per cent of the normal total and that only 154 students attended South Boston High School Friday--10 per cent of the school's total enrollment.
Only 14 of the 154 persons present at South Boston High yesterday were white.
The Boston Globe reported yesterday that opponents of forced busing also demonstrated in the Hyde Park section of Boston and that attendance in the public schools in that area was well below normal in observance of the boycott.
Police received several complaints yesterday of scattered incidents of violent and racial confrontations, but reported no major disturbances.
Boston schools opened three weeks ago after a court order from U.S. District Court Judge W. Arthur Garrity required the busing of about 18,000 students.
And last night the Associated Press reported that a motorcade of demonstrators drove from South Boston to Garrity's Wellesley home, honking horns and flashing their lights.
Since the opening of school, there has been scattered violence in Boston schools, aand a boycott of South Boston schools in particular. Attendance had reached near-normal levels in Boston schools before Friday in other parts of the city, but attendance in South Boston High had peaked at only one-third normal levels.
At high schools not affected by the integration order, attendance dropped sharply Friday. The buses arrived nearly empty yesterday morning at English High School, where several hundred white students are ordinarily bused from a middleclass neighborhood.
The Globe also reported yesterday that Boston school officials--as a result of school disruptions this week--have been unable to prepare specific guidelines for Boston's final desegregation plan in time for a hearing scheduled for Friday afternoon.
The school officials were expected to present a detailed report on guidelines for personnel. Budget and timetables at a hearing in U.S. District Court, but, the Globe reported, School Committee attorney John O. Mirrick could not provide a rough, general outline of the city's plan.
A spokesman at Boston City Hall said yesterday that city officials hope for a peaceful day in school Monday, but, he added, "no one knows what to expect.