To Fight The Good Fight The Battle
To Fight The Good Fight- The Battle Over Control O Essay, Research Paper
To Fight The Good Fight The Battle Essay Example
To Fight the Good Fight: & # 8221 ; The Battle Over Control of the Pasadena City Schools, 1969-1979In January of 1970, Pasadena, California held the doubtful differentiation of being the first non-Southern metropolis ordered by the federal tribunals to integrate its public school system. This court-order sparked a decennary long conflict within the school territory. Pasadenans became entrenched in two cantonments: imperfects who wanted to incorporate the schools and fundamentalists who vowed to halt court-ordered busing. Despite Pasadena & # 8217 ; s precedent scene function, historiographers have neglected it. The conflict in Pasadena is important, nevertheless, because it suggests an anti-busing motivation that historiographers have overlooked. The grounds shows that oppositions of integrating in Pasadena used the tenseness over busing chiefly as an election tool. Their docket was two times. First, they wanted to sublimate ideologically the public school system. Second, in order to accomplish their first end they needed to keep local control, so they fought increasing federal intercession at every turn.The grounds shows that the federal court-order to integrate the public school system caused a big figure of moderate conservativists to switch to a more utmost place. This motion allowed fundamentalists to derive adequate support utilizing a & # 8220 ; Stop Forced Busing & # 8221 ; slogan to be elected to office and organize a bulk on the school board. It was clear to many in the community that fundamentalists had capitalized upon the frights of Pasadenans in order to derive control of the board so that they could put to death policies designed to return the public schools to their pre-1920s province of & # 8220 ; cardinal education. & # 8221 ; This paper is an effort to analyze the disruptive decennary of the seventiess in Pasadena in order to understand the political orientation of the fundamentalists who dominated the school board. From 1973 on, the conflict over control of the school territory had four chief focal points: book forbiddance, the creative activity of cardinal schools, purging the territory of pedagogues with unacceptable political doctrines, and, stoping federal control of the school territory. While these aims were all tinged with racism, they were in world much broader and more complex. The events environing the integration of the Pasadena school system presents a challenge to the current race-centered analysis of anti-busing sentiment.Literature on anti-busing sentiment in the North and West tends to back up a focal point on race as the cardinal issue involved. In Boston for illustration, both Ronald P. Formisano and J. Anthony Lukas1 found that the most violent reaction against busing and school integration came from the white working-class that felt betrayed by integration policies which targeted their communities while go forthing the wealthier white suburbs efficaciously segregated. Both historiographers stress the cardinal function played by racism in attempts to keep unintegrated schooling in Boston. In fact, the historical scholarship that discusses northern busing issues seems to concentrate on the function of racism and topographic point it at the centre of the busing resistance & # 8217 ; s motivations. The grounds from Pasadena, nevertheless, radically alters that perceptual experience. The actions of fundamentalists suggest that the function of anti-busing sentiments and the events in Pasadena were imbedded in a larger conservative docket which was motivated in portion by spiritual fundamentalism and an resistance to large government.This would propose that anti-busing needs a broader analysis and that it would profit from the historiography covering with the rise of the political right in the post-World War II epoch. Historians need to look to sociology and the work of bookmans such as Jerome Himmelstein. The concerns of fundamentalists in Pasadena tantrum neatly into surveies of the rise of the political right in the 1970s and 1980s. Fundamentalists were profoundly troubled by what they took to be the moral decay of American society. They were frightened by the & # 8220 ; turning domestic struggle over household, gender functions, and basic values. & # 8221 ; 2 These members of the political right in Pasadena besides expressed concern over & # 8220 ; Bolshevism, the inclination of the province to form and command all societal life. & # 8221 ; 3 This issue of crawling federal control panicked Pasadena & # 8217 ; s fundamentalists and in 1970 they were sent into a tailspin when the federal authorities stepped in and took over the school territory. This sense of terror and day of reckoning led them to follow a & # 8220 ; siege outlook & # 8221 ; which increased throughout the seventiess. The grounds presented in this paper strongly suggests that Pasadena & # 8217 ; s anti- busing battle belongs in the historiography of the rise of the political right instead than in the traditional anti-busing historiography which focuses about entirely upon race relations.4The Pasadena School District, like many territories throughout the state, was divided into racially and politically distinguishable vicinities. So, in order to understand the kineticss of Pasadena school political relations in the 1970s it is necessary to acquire a sense of the geographics and of the history of the school territory. The territory is made up of several distinguishable vicinities that predictably voted broad or conservative. The first, and most of import, vicinity is the northwest subdivision of Pasadena. This part of the metropolis was a dumbly populated subdivision where African Americans and Hispanics were forced to populate, chiefly because of a long history of lodging favoritism. This country was bordered on the West by the Arroyo,5 on the North by the foothills, on the E by Foothill Boulevard and on the South by Washington Boulevard. Harmonizing to the findings of Robin Kelley, every bit tardily as 1973 95 per centum of the African American population in Pasadena still lived in the northwest area.6 This group of people had to shoulder the brunt of the school board & # 8217 ; s extremist actions in the seventiess. Systematically throughout the decennary occupants of the Northwest subdivision fought against fundamentalists. Leaderships backed by the NAACP and local black churches on a regular basis protested school board policies in the newspapers and at school board meetings.7At the opposite terminal of the spectrum and on the opposite side of the territory rested solidly conservative to highly conservative communities: East Altadena, Sierra Madre and Hastings Ranch. All three of these vicinities were wholly made up of white middle-class occupants. Since Pasadena had no important white propertyless population, the occupants of these countries represented those who had most late climbed out of the lower middle-class and the working-class. Compared to the older subdivisions of Pasadena, where upper- and upper- in-between category households had resided since the early 20th century, these subdivisions were made up of comparative fledglings to the country. Because many of these occupants had the most to lose they vehemently opposed busing and school integration. The frights of these Pasadenans likely stemmed from the fact that they did non hold the option of directing their kids to private schools or going portion of the & # 8220 ; white flight & # 8221 ; 8 that surrounded them. Many of the white people in these vicinities had struggled hard to buy their places and they worried that their belongings values would drop if Pasadena became incorporate, and so they felt trapped. As the freshly arrived middle-class possibly they besides supported racially prejudiced policies merely because portion of their sense of position rested upon a feeling of racial high quality. 9 The racism running throughout these vicinities allowed them to be manipulated by school board campaigners utilizing & # 8220 ; anti-busing & # 8221 ; and other racially charged run slogans.Because these racially unintegrated communities were the most predictable in their vote forms, it was the other countries of Pasadena that school board elections and intelligence analysts tended to aim: Linda Vista, San Rafael, and southern parts of the metropolis. These vicinities provided the swing ballots in local elections. During the 1970s these vicinities in Pasadena became susceptible to the racialist propaganda of the fundamentalists. In the 1971, 1973 and 1975 elections, the bulk of white precincts supported fundamentalist campaigners. 10 And it is these electors who moved the ideological makeup of the board solidly to the right.Moderates fell prey to the beat uping call of & # 8220 ; halt forced busing & # 8221 ; trumpeted in Pasadena in the sixtiess and 1970s. Busing, they believed, would take their kids from the vicinities and set them at hazard by directing them into unsafe vicinities in the preponderantly African American subdivisions of the metropolis. Desegregating the schools would destruct the quality of their kids & # 8217 ; s instruction. So, keeping the quality of Pasadena & # 8217 ; s public instruction for their kids was one of their primary concerns. However, they besides demanded that lifting revenue enhancements be stopped. This group systematically voted against local bond steps for the schools out of a fright that it would do a revenue enhancement addition. Often times these two ends conflicted. By halting forced busing they claimed that the territory would salvage 1000000s of dollars a twelvemonth, therefore carry throughing both of their concerns by sing the quality of the schools and avoiding a revenue enhancement hike.A diverse group of Pasadenans made up this moderate cantonment. Many of them were parents of school age kids, tonss of whom would be portion of the white flight when integrating became the end of the school board. These households, if they could afford to, left Pasadena for the environing communities of La Canada and San Marino or they sent their kids to one of the countries many private establishments. A big figure of Pasadenans fell into this group and hence they were the people who both imperfects and fundamentalists tried to convey into their cantonments throughout the post-Brown v. Board of Education era.Fundamentalists and imperfects were non new to the Pasadena school territory. For decennaries public school political relations in Pasadena had been enduring from a & # 8220 ; yo-yo & # 8221 ; consequence. Each clip progressives gained control they would throw out fundamentalist plans and policies. And each clip fundamentalists gained control they would make the same to progressive policies.11 However, as the menace of forced integrating grew over the decennary predating the 1970s so did the power of fundamentalists.The Brown v. Board of Education determination in 1954 had really small direct impact upon Pasadena because the African American population was comparatively little. However, the population began to increase steadily in the sixtiess and 1970s and the deductions of Brown took on new proportions for Pasadenans. By the early 1960s, major integration determinations began puting the load of integrating upon local school boards. However, the board in Pasadena continued to disregard the issue of desegregation.12In stead of doing significant advancement towards integration, the school territory poured 1000000s of dollars in assistance into compensatory instruction plans in preponderantly black schools. Through these plans they hoped to pacify province and federal bureaus. Continually throughout the sixtiess educationally conservative board members attempted to hedge seeable integrating within the schools. Aside from compensatory educational plans, in 1964 the school board announced & # 8220 ; Plan IV & # 8221 ; which allowed a little figure of kids from the seven & # 8220 ; most unintegrated & # 8221 ; schools to reassign to certain & # 8220 ; having schools, & # 8221 ; provided that they could happen their ain transit. Rather than integrating the schools, & # 8220 ; Plan IV & # 8221 ; increased segregation in the territory. Merely 13.1 % of pupils from the & # 8220 ; most unintegrated & # 8221 ; schools were white, but 31.1 % of the pupils transferred to the & # 8220 ; having schools & # 8221 ; were white. Besides, surveies found that those with higher income degrees were the 1s who left the preponderantly black schools.13 We seem to hold a typical narrative of racialist ideals commanding school board policies but through the actions of the fundamentalist board in the 1970s it becomes clear that their docket was much more complicated than merely keeping segregation and white dominance.The easy triumph of the fundamentalists slate of LuVerne LaMotte, Steve Salisian, and Joseph Engholm in March of 1965 utilizing mottos such as, & # 8220 ; Neighborhood Schools are in Danger! & # 8221 ; demonstrates the turning fright on the portion of many white Pasadenans that forced busing, an terminal to vicinity schools and increased federal control was looming on their skyline. They were right. Over the following five old ages province and federal tribunals demanded that school territories take stairss to integrate. During that clip every bit good a cardinal displacement had taken topographic point on the school board. LaMotte and Engholm had, during their term of office, moved from the fundamentalist cantonment to the imperfect. Systematically during their first old ages in office they voted against any gestures that would integrate the schools.14 However, as they became more familiar with the school system and more concerned with the quality of instruction they shifted to an integrationist stance. After sing the schools, both Engholm and LaMotte noted the pronounced difference in the preponderantly African American schools and the chiefly white schools. Schools with a bulk of African Americans were overcrowded and short-handed. The installations were besides older and more run down than the installations for white children.15 By the clip the two board members ran for re-election in 1969 their campaigning was endorsed by imperfects and they were being denounced by the fundamentalists who had ab initio put them in office. 16Nonetheless, Pasadena had non moved in the way of integrating and by the terminal of 1969 the federal tribunal took the control out of their custodies. Therefore, because of conservative inactivity one of their greatest frights was realized: The federal authorities stepped in to supervise the integrating procedure. The federal authorities & # 8217 ; s presence in Pasadena was instantly apparent and the fundamentalists felt that they were under onslaught which caused them to rapidly follow a & # 8220 ; siege mentality. & # 8221 ; On January 20 1970, Federal District Court Judge Manuel Real gave the Pasadena City School District 27 yearss to come up with a program to integrate the public school system. Not merely did the District demand to cut down the racial segregation of its pupils, but of its staff as well.Elementary schools in Pasadena traditionally followed the most inflexible criterions of segregation. During the 1969-1970 school twelvemonth 85 per centum of the school territory & # 8217 ; s Afro-american simple school kids attended eight bulk African-American simple schools. At the same clip, 93 per centum of its white simple age kids attended the other 21 simple schools in the territory. Washington Elementary school, located E of the Arroyo in the Northwest subdivision of Pasadena, for illustration, maintained an registration that was over 90 percent Afro-american. During the 1969-1970 school twelvemonth 28 white pupils and 1060 Afro-american pupils attended this school. The Linda Vista Elementary school, located about one stat mi off on the opposite side of the Arroyo, in an upper-middle category, all white subdivision of Pasadena known as Linda Vista, had 163 white kids and one Afro-american kid enrolled during the same period. This was non a new phenomenon in Pasadena. Washington Elementary School had historically been a bulk Afro-american school and Linda Vista had been a bulk white school.Cleveland Elementary School, besides merely a stat mi off from Linda Vista in the Northwest subdivision of Pasadena, maintained an registration that was 97 percent Afro-american. When Linda Vista Elementary School opened with infinite for 255 pupils, non adequate kids lived in the country to make full its limited capacity. Up until 1964 the school territory assigned the white pupils from Cleveland and another bulk African- American simple school, Lincoln, to Linda Vista in order to make full this gap.Another glowering illustration of the purposeful segregation affecting these simple schools can be seen between 1967 and 1969. The territory closed Linda Vista school for two old ages in order to mend structural jobs. Alternatively of transfering these kids to the three simple schools in the Northwest country which were about one stat mi off and less crowded, at this clip, the territory reassigned the kids to a preponderantly white school, San Rafael Elementary School over three stat mis off which had less room to suit these pupils than the closer, preponderantly Afro-american simple schools.In his determination Real addressed those gross inequalities. He wrote: The program shall supply for pupil assignments in such a mode that, by or before the beginning of the school twelvemonth that commences in September of 1970 there shall be no school in the District, simple or junior high or senior high school, with a bulk of any minority students.17These words served to polarise the community. Fundamentalists felt that the federal tribunal had merely destroyed any hope that they had of continuing the award winning quality of Pasadena & # 8217 ; s public school system. Judge Real had taken the territory out of the custodies of local functionaries and had given control to a federal authorities which had no thought how to manage Pasadena & # 8217 ; s jobs because they knew nil of the kineticss of the population. Fundamentalists had no uncertainty that the federal authorities would destruct the school territory and public instruction in Pasadena.At the Tuesday afternoon Pasadena school board meeting six yearss after Judge Real & # 8217 ; s determination, the school board voted to follow with the court-order. Board Member John Welsh, visibly shaken by the determination, stood and pulled a folded piece of paper out his pocket and read the undermentioned statement: In my sentiment we are today informant to the beginning of the terminal of local control, and under these conditions of Federal authorization where local functionaries, punctually elected and responsible, are non allowed to work, conditions where those closest to the scene are non allowed to predominate and work out their ain jobs, I find it hard to function. . . There are disputing times in front and I wish you Godspeed in working toward work outing Pasadena & # 8217 ; s educational jobs. With that, he easy pushed back his chair, rose, and left the board room.18 John Welsh resigned in response to the school board & # 8217 ; s determination non to contend the federal court-order. Not long after Welsh & # 8217 ; s surrender, a group of fundamentalists launched the first callback attempt in Pasadena & # 8217 ; s 100 twelvemonth history in order to take the three board members ( Lowe, LaMotte, and Engholm ) who refused to appeal the tribunal determination. Ultimately the callback failed at the polls, but merely by a narrow border because of the steady displacement of centrists into the fundamentalist cantonment. LaMotte, Lowe and Engholm were able to hang on to their school board seats, at least until they were up for re-election in 1973. While the elective school board functionaries throughout the sixtiess were trying to side-step integration, fundamentalists were playing on the frights of & # 8220 ; forced busing & # 8221 ; and communist infiltration in order to do inroads onto the school board.Throughout the first portion of the 1970-71 school twelvemonth racial agitation at the schools dominated the intelligence, doing eternal ailments from parents, turning dismay over the safety of the kids, and elected functionaries & # 8217 ; increased fright of & # 8220 ; white flight. & # 8221 ; The turbulency rapidly diminished but many in the community moved towards conservative places on the issue of instruction. This allowed Henry Marcheschi to win a place on the school board utilizing an & # 8220 ; anti-busing & # 8221 ; platform. 19 The 1971 election indicated a dramatic displacement in the electors and imperfects knew that they would confront a tough battle during the 1973 school board elections. The fundamentalists besides realized that this would be a polar election. This election, more than any other, changed the class of the Pasadena Unified School District and caused the conflict over the schools to make a fevered pitch, because it was in this election that moderates and conservatives overpoweringly supported a slate of fundamentalists.One eventide in 1972 a group of near to a twelve fundamentalists met to discourse their concerns over the 1973 election. In their position the last three old ages of forced busing had virtually destroyed the school territory. Harmonizing to their statistics 7,000 kids had fled the public school system bing near to forty per centum of the white pupil population. While belongings values in neighbouring communities were steadily increasing, the value of Pasadena & # 8217 ; s houses were at an all clip low. It appeared as if their worst frights had come to fruition. This little set felt that their & # 8220 ; dorsums were against the wall & # 8221 ; and that & # 8220 ; clip was running out. & # 8221 ; 20 Fortunately for this garnering the electors were ready to accept merely about any campaigner they put forward.Fundamentalists, Henry S. Myers, Jr. , Lyman W. Newton, and Richard Vetterli, easy won the election and moved the school board steadfastly to the fundamentalist cantonment and the utmost right, educationally, politically, and sacredly. Marcheschi, Vetterli, and Newton were all active members of the Mormon Church. Richard Vetterli, in fact, taught for several old ages at Brigham Young, the university established by the Mormon church, and he authored a history text entitled, Mormonism, Americanism, and Politics.21 When reading this text it becomes clear that the spiritual association of these new board members lends insight into their political orientation. Harmonizing to the debut of Vetterli & # 8217 ; s book, for Mormons economic sciences and political relations were closely tied to their spiritual beliefs. In the debut, Ivan Hinderaker, chair of the Political Science Department at the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote: Latter-day Saints, in political relations and economic sciences, tend to stand for aggressive person and local duty. . . . [ They ] tend to believe in an economic and political system in which single free bureau and enterprise are really of import elements. . . . [ They ] tend to be profoundly loyal Americans. They believe that their fate and hereafter is inseparably bound up with the fate and hereafter of the American Nation, that manus in manus Mormonism and Americanism are the reply to a ill universe in troubled times, that in these two forces lie the temporal and religious redemption of the universe. 22Mormonism therefore provided the root of Marcheschi, Vetterli, and Newton & # 8217 ; s utmost conservativism and fundamentalism.The basis of their political and educational doctrines lay in the cardinal school construction. In the eyes of these work forces, the lone manner to salvage the kids of Pasadena, and the full state, was to pass over out progressive educational doctrines which had been introduced in the 1920s by John Dewey and to take the & # 8220 ; hawkish revolutionists & # 8221 ; who were commanding the schoolrooms. Their term of office on the school board was principally dedicated to making merely that. Progressive educational doctrines, including & # 8220 ; new math & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; new English, & # 8221 ; had destroyed the heads of kids. They saw a hawkish political docket buried within this doctrine of progressive instruction, an docket that would take to progressively centralised authorities control. & # 8220 ; Essentially, progressive pedagogues claim that in the modern multi-cultural society. . . the accent on separation of powers, provinces rights, and private belongings accretion are hopelessly out of day of the month, & # 8221 ; wrote Richard Vetterli in1976. He continued, & # 8220 ; What they say is needed is a more centrally organized political organ with the power to benevolently administrate to the people under an enlightened mass democracy. & # 8221 ; 23 In his position instructors were to be the & # 8220 ; accelerator & # 8221 ; in this revolution. In the heads of these fundamentalists they were contending a war for the head and the psyche of the full state. Progressive educational doctrines were radically at odds with their political and educational theories.According to both Vetterli and Myers, progressive pedagogues had abandoned a demanding course of study and developed an obsessional concern with & # 8220 ; the whole life experience of the child. & # 8221 ; Progressive pedagogues refused, for illustration, to keep pupils back in class degrees because they were concerned with the psychological harm that might make to the pupils. They besides moved off from competition and encouraged cooperation among the pupils, the net consequence being the devastation of individualism. As Richard Vetterli saw it, this was a communist confederacy designed to sabotage the construction of society and the authorities of the United States and this position led them to label all imperfects & # 8220 ; activists & # 8221 ; . Finally, Myers and Vetterli were besides shocked by what they saw as the deficiency of strict subject within the schools. 24By suggesting the cardinal school doctrine the board bulk attempted to sabotage the negative forces that they saw in the public school system. Alternatively of & # 8220 ; new math & # 8221 ; and & # 8220 ; new English & # 8221 ; the schools would return the & # 8220 ; three R & # 8217 ; s. & # 8221 ; Fundamental instruction besides attacked what Myers referred to as & # 8220 ; slobism. & # 8221 ; They targeted disrespectful pupils, littering, graffito, and hooliganism, every bit good as slack frock codifications that permitted denims and sweatshirts & # 8211 ; even for instructors. & # 8220 ; A great costume, head you, for delving in the garden on a Saturday afternoon. But barely the attire for a professional instructor on the occupation, & # 8221 ; commented Myers. 25 To antagonize that, decision makers at public cardinal schools implemented a rigorous frock codification and terrible penalty for those who did non handle their milieus with respect.Fundamentalists besides advocated bodily penalty. They taught kids how to act, follow regulations, and to train their heads, which included: scene precedences, being responsible, being orderly and orderly, and being punctual. Cardinal instruction advocates coupled this focal point on subject with an accent on competition. Many of the jobs faced by public schools would merely melt away if a sense of competition was put back into the schools. Harmonizing to Myers, & # 8220 ; About every major achievement in the history of the universe has been brought about by honest, free endeavor competition. Conversely, every bit shortly as competition is eliminated, impairment and inefficiency are inevitable. & # 8221 ; 26 As portion of this demand for competition, Myers recommended that parents choose their kids & # 8217 ; s schools. This would further a spirit of competition among the schools in the territory, therefore leting those who did a better occupation a opportunity to thrive, while those that did non would merely & # 8220 ; travel out of business. & # 8221 ; Competition was besides important within the schoolroom. Students were encouraged to work separately alternatively of hand in glove because this would & # 8220 ; assist the kids set their purposes high, yet learn to cover maturely with reverses. . . . & # 8221 ; 27Richard Vetterli and Henry Myers made it clear in both of their books that they saw themselves as contending some kind of international confederacy & # 8211 ; in all likeliness a Communist one. They fought cooperation among pupils at every bend. At one point Myers wrote: A. . . group of persons is working urgently to see us neglect. Some of our readers will doubt that they even exist. . . This is a group of power-hungry persons who merely do non desire the multitudes to go educated, particularly the minorities. An educated electorate ballots intelligently. It can non be led about. Whether this confederacy is international or purely local in its make-up is unfastened to speculate [ accent added ] .28
Vetterli displayed the same concern as Henry
Myers. His own book is full of references to “outside militants” and “radical subversives.” Their writings provide evidence of the “siege mentality” that descended upon Pasadena’s fundamentalists when the federal government stepped in to run the school district in 1970.”Patriotism” was fundamental education’s secret weapon in the war against the international conspiracy. Displays of “patriotism” in the fundamental schools included daily flag-raising ceremonies and instruction in the principles and ideals of the United States. The parent handbook for Pasadena’s first fundamental school, opened in 1974, read:When a child is first taught to love his country, later in his education he will have a motive strong enough to spur him on to understanding American and her heritage. Feelings of loyalty to his country give a child identity–he belongs, he has roots. 29By removing a spirit of cooperation from the classroom, demanding a rigorous level of discipline (from the age of five, on) and by producing good patriots, these extreme fundamentalists clearly hoped to control the minds of the citizenry by denying a forum in which dissent could take root. Students could not protest against or voice their concerns about the system. This would effectively remove the militants and the rising international communist conspiracy. Eventually they planned to spread these schools throughout the school district and ultimately the nation. 30 In his 1977 book, Fundamentally Speaking, Henry Myers wrote:In July of 1973, a tiny seed was planted that was destined to initiate the Phoenix-like rebirth of fundamental education in Pasadena and set an example for the entire nation. The fires of permissiveness and progressiveness had taken their toll, and the wreckage of what was once the finest educational system in the country lay smoldering in ruins.31The new board wasted no time implementing their programs. They quickly opened two fundamental schools in the district and they called for the removal of several supplementary textbooks from the high school curriculum –textbooks they found “as a whole to lack redeeming value.” 32 This first attempt to ban books came in October when Lyman Newton asked the superintendent to remove these two supplementary ninth grade English texts, The Voices of Man: As We Grow Older and The Voices of Man: Face to Face. He “had information that there were political overtones in the books that would not be. . . supportive of the type of educational approach that this district wants to take.” 33 Vetterli found the books to be “sadistic and morbid and without redeeming value.” Myers told the people gathered at a school board meeting that one story dealt with the “death of a retarded child” and that it was “virtually worthless.” The school superintendent, Ramone Cortines, a specialist in the field of developmentally disabled children, “praised” the same story. 34Superintendent Cortines pointed out to the board members that in this case they had not followed the established guidelines for dealing with complaints brought to the school district about reading materials. Myers replied that he had not been aware of any procedures or guidelines. At that point Cortines reminded him that Willard Craft, a board appointee, had drafted the policy and the board had approved it unanimously at a meeting a few weeks earlier.35 It is from this point, January 1974, on that the three members of the board increasingly descended into their siege mentality. They saw themselves surrounded by enemies who were attempting to undermine the very principles upon which the United States was founded. In their minds, this conspiracy clearly emanated from the “subversive radical” teachers unions and their attempts to take over the district. And it is within their extremist political philosophies that their policies became increasingly reactionary and discriminatory.A statement on book banning read by a Pasadena Federation of Teachers (PFT) union official at a board meeting fueled the board’s suspicions. Among other things, the statement accused the board members of being members of the ultra-conservative John Birch Society.36 The statement read, in part:. . . Contempt for educators does not sufficiently explain the negative actions of these Board members. When the adoption of Voices of Man was first questioned by Mr. Newton, he spoke of “political overtones” in the books. . . . It seems to me the politics of extremism is the motivation for their opposition to the [books]. . . . When persons are in positions of responsibility, when they have, as Mr. Marcheschi stated, the right to censor books, certainly the educators and the parents have the right to know the orientation from which the censors are operating.The official then proceeded to point out the reason for the ban. Had the anthologies contained stories by Billy Graham, Robert Welch, Gary Allen and the Chicago Tribune, warning of “an international communist conspiracy” instead of stories by Jack London, Ray Bradbury, and LeRoi Jones, who were known to sympathize with the political left, they would not have to been questioned. The official also pointed out that, “It has been alleged that a high administrator who opposed the books did so because he felt that Joan Baez was a communist.” He closed his statement to the board by demanding,It seems to me it would serve this district well if Dr. Vetterli, Dr. Myers, [and] Mr. Newton. . .would individually respond to this question: . . . Are you now or have you ever been a member or affiliated in any way with the John Birch Society? . . . I will resist the temptation to conclude, as Senator Joseph McCarthy would have, that a refusal to respond indicates guilt.37Aside from the local unions’ attempt to gas-light the board, the statement clearly shows that those considering themselves progressives felt that they were in the middle of a local “red scare” and that the board members were trying to purge the schools of anything that was not in accordance with their political beliefs.That they weren’t too far off the mark became clear by mid February when high school senior, Wanda Knox, requested that the board remove William Faulkner’s Light in August because it was “demeaning and racist in its references to Negroes.” 38 She circulated a petition at a local high school because she was disturbed by the fact that the book list in the high schools had very few, if any, minority authors on it. Ultimately, the board rejected her request. By April they called for an investigation of Knox in order to flush out the subversive teachers who had given her the idea to challenge the school board. Upon being informed of this investigation, she demanded that the board justify their actions:I was shown a memo from Mr. Marcheschi requesting an investigation of the “Light in August” matter. The memo went on to say, the board had been “had” by Miss Knox and others involved in this affair. To my knowledge, an investigation was not requested of the people who wanted “Voices of Man” reconsidered. . . Why must my integrity and intelligence be questioned?The board asked Knox, “Did you write your own speech or did your teacher. . .write it for you?” At this she responded, “To tell you honestly, when I heard this I had to lay my Black kinky head on the table and get a good loud chuckle at pure, unadulterated ignorance.” Having been an honors student and having taken advanced placement English courses throughout her high school career in Pasadena, she found it absurd that the board would even suggest that she should not be able to write a speech. 39 However, the board’s reaction is not surprising considering the fact that they felt that Pasadena schools were at a crisis point and that progressive educational theories had destroyed the minds of Pasadena’s youth. The board’s contempt for individuals who challenged their authority or their political beliefs is clearly seen by the investigation of Wanda Knox. As she pointed out, individuals calling for the banning of The Voices of Man series were neither questioned nor investigated by the board members.Later in the board’s tenure, the local press discovered that an example of “appropriate” reading material was a textbook published by the John Birch Society entitled Quest for a Hemisphere. 40 This fact alone helped to confirm the dread of many educators in Pasadena that the board was dominated, if not by members of the John Birch Society, at least by individuals who sympathized with its extremist political ideology. Over the next three years the board limited the reading material available to the students by banning increasing numbers of books. By October of 1975 they had implemented a new policy which forced teachers to submit “justification papers” for any materials they wanted to use in the classroom, including any standing orders they may have had. If the board decided to question the teachers they could effectively delay the purchasing of books. In cleansing the curriculum of any “undesirable” material, the board called for the removal of large numbers of books from the high school libraries.In November of 1976 the board created a panel to review all of the textbooks being used in the school district. Openly admitting that they were creating a “screening committee” that was politically biased, Henry Myers commented, “I’m going to put people on it who have the same philosophies I do. If we believe in our conservative convictions, why not?” They intended to remove books being used in the district which they thought were overrated, among those was award winning playwright, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, which Henry Myers referred to as “junk.”41 Not content to stop with the books, over the next year the board also began using the same screening process on all of the films used in the classrooms.In an attempt to break the fundamentalists’ control of the school district various progressive organizations, including the Pasadena Federation of Teachers, staged a series of strikes, demonstrations and protests between 1973 and 1977. In June of 1973 the PFT conducted a one-day teachers’ strike and student walk-out. Out of 1200 teachers in the district only 213 stayed out of school. This disappointing turn out was far short of the 600 teachers they had hoped for. However, thirty- eight percent of the students stayed out of the high schools. This work- stoppage so outraged the board that they filed a damage suit against the PFT, an organization that both Myers and Vetterli had expressed a great amount of disdain for. According to Myers, his main opponents in the fight for fundamental education were teachers’ unions. “Most unions,” in his view, only functioned to “protect incompetent teachers.” 42As part of the continuing protest against the actions of the board, the PFT and Community Together staged a demonstration in front of the school district offices. The event was designed to kick-off a recall campaign and to coincide with the “Freedom Against Racism” marches being held in Boston and Los Angeles. Demonstrators carried signs demanding that Pasadena find a way to “End This Mess!” The signs screamed, “Buses Must roll for Integration,” “Block Racist Attacks: No Resegregation,” “We Must Have Quality Education” and “Muzzle Marcheschi!”43These actions fueled the growing anxiety and contempt for progressive educators among the board members. They felt that this group of “subversive” teachers was so obsessed with undermining the board that they were neglecting the education of their students. In his book, Henry Myers discussed the endless stream of protests–strikes, picket lines, and signs.Many of our protesters are teachers who, cloaked in the protective garb of tenure, feel perfectly free to level all manner of vindictive insults and intimidations at the board members. . . . When they are particularly aroused, they enlist the aid of their students who blindly latch on to their teachers’ causes and join the melee. After all, it’s much more fun than doing homework, and the teacher is probably far too busy trying to harass the board to worry about assigning or expecting homework, anyway.44This statement, along with the board’s investigation of Wanda Knox and their desperate attempt to rid the school curriculum of any seditious material, provides ample evidence that they were working to rid the school district of any political dissidents and to reshape the curriculum to comport with their fundamentalist convictions.The battle between the fundamentalists on the board and progressives was played out weekly at the Tuesday night school board meetings. In fact, these meetings became the hottest entertainment in town. Throughout the mid-1970s they would stretch over five and six hours and the crowds would grow to six hundred people. Noel Greenwood in the Los Angeles Times noted:In most other school systems, it would be a remarkable event when: Four members of the school board, no longer willing to listen to the repeated cheers and jeers of a hostile audience, file tight-lipped out of a crowded auditorium and adjourn to a closed-door meeting across the street–while the fifth board member [Sam Sheats] stays behind to conduct a rump session during which he tells the angry audience how the board is mistreating them. Not so in Pasadena. . . . 45By June of 1974, in a closed meeting, the board had hired a sergeant- at-arms to control the spectators. Feeling threatened by these growing crowds, fundamentalist members of the board were increasingly holding their meetings in closed session to avoid being confronted by the large numbers of people protesting their policies. According to Richard Vetterli’s accounts, these massive meetings were viewed by the members as carefully orchestrated demonstrations. “Often meetings are characterized by hissing and booing, catcalls, etc., sometimes even during the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance that open each meeting.” Board president, Henry Myers, adjourned the meetings to executive session because the disruptive “militants” were placing the “spectators in some jeopardy.”46 A “constitutional consultant” to the Board, Paul Leonard, saw the hiring of a sergeant-at-arms as necessary for this reason. From his perspective the board meetings had become “a farce–a field day for rabble-rousers–packed with liberals.”47By the beginning of the 1973-1974 school year the Vetterli, Myers and Newton board had begun to make good on all of its campaign promises, among them the promise to get out from under the court ordered desegregation. By December 1973 the board had filed a motion to modify the integration plan in the Los Angeles federal court. Essentially, they asked Judge Real to throw out forced busing in favor of voluntary busing and to be freed from all federal constraints placed upon them by the court.48However, because they had allowed five schools to remain in violation of the original court order and hired a number of white administrators early in their term, Judge Real found that the board had acted in contempt of the court order.49 According to the 1970 court- order the district had an obligation to not only integrate the student population of the schools but also the faculty and staff, which had been effectively segregated as well. By hiring the white administrators on a “temporary” basis the board thought that they would be able to get around that part of the court-order.Real also denied the board’s request that they be allowed to implement a “freedom of choice” plan to replace the current integration plan and he refused to relieve the school district of the federal order which was forcing them to insure that there be no “majority of any minority” in a Pasadena school. He found that:Modification of the injunction of this court of January 23, 1970, would, in effect, leave the Board to its own devices concerning the Pasadena Plan and its continued viability as a mandate for desegregation. To grant such relief would–in light of the avowed aims of four members of the five-member board–surely be to sign the death warrant of the Pasadena Plan and its objectives. 50Judge Real understood the motives of the fundamentalists on the board of education. He noted in his findings that the theory of the board that white parents, whose children left the school district because of forced busing, would return if busing was voluntary held no merit. He wrote, the idea that,’salesmanship’ will convince enough ‘white parents’ whose children have left [the school district] to return and choose the same ‘educational alternatives’ that black parents do in order to accomplish an integrated schools system. . . exposes the folly of the belief that one who left a school district because his children were forced to attend schools with Negro children would now voluntarily choose that alternative.51Judge Real knew that, given the political philosophy of the current board, he was the only thing standing between them and the resegregation of Pasadena schools.The school board was not so easily discouraged. They immediately took the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorneys hired by the school district argued that they should be relieved of the court-ordered “no majority of any minority” clause, that they should be allowed to implement a voluntary busing plan, and, finally, that they should be freed from court supervision. The appellate court supported Judge Real’s decision. Judges Ely and Wallace, in their opinion, noted, as Judge Real had, that because the majority of the board members had run for election on a platform that called for an end to forced busing and a return to neighborhood schools, the “district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to dissolve the earlier decree implementing a desegregation plan.”52 So, both the Circuit Court and the Appellate Court had refused to make any changes in the court supervised desegregation of the school system.Another part of the courtroom battle took place in 1975 over the board’s increasing efforts to fundamentalize the schools. The board voted, in a closed meeting, to add two new fundamental schools to the two already in existence. By September, Audubon Primary and McKinley Elementary schools would join Marshall and Sierra Mesa Fundamental Schools. The outcry against the action was fierce and instantaneous. Audubon was the only primary school in the northwest section of the city. Without it all of the children in the area would have to be bused into other communities while white children would continue to attend primary schools in their neighborhoods. Two prominent members of the black community attacked the idea of fundamentalization as an “indoctrination of black students with white, middle-class values.” They both saw the schools as an attempt to create a “mono-cultural society.” 53Other critics of the fundamental school system felt that these schools were a way for the board to get around the integration plan. They had created private schools within the public school system. They were producing special, racially unbalanced schools so that “white-flighters” would return to the system. As proof of their determination to curb “white flight” was the fact that of the 1350 students on the waiting list for fundamental schools, all 124 of the students from private schools were accepted. Henry Myers acknowledged that he hoped this would “attract more white students back to the public schools.” 54 In order to silence the critics and block debate surrounding Audubon and McKinley at the school board meeting, the board announced their intention to fundamentalize the schools and then quickly voted that “discussion of Audubon was permanently closed.”55The parents took their concerns into Judge Real’s courtroom. By the end of September an outraged Judge Real gave the school district thirty days to find a way to defundamentalize Audubon school. He also ordered that the district refrain from forming any more fundamental schools. As the basis of his decision he noted that the board was shifting the “burden of desegregation” to the black community. “The board was increasing ‘forced busing’ for the neighborhood students who could normally walk to Audubon but who would now be bused nearly all of their school experience. . . .” He concluded by stating that, “The affirmative duty is upon the school board under orders to desegregate to see that their actions and to show that their actions or policies do not result in resegregation.” 56 The Board immediately filed for a stay in the decision and began the appeals process. This order to refrain from forming any more fundamental schools would destroy the goals and objectives of the fundamentalist board members unless they could get out from under it.At the same time, the school board prepared their case for the United States’ Supreme Court. Again they asked for the same things they had asked the Appeals Court. Two basic questions needed to be answered: 1) Was a racially imbalanced school unconstitutional regardless of the cause of that imbalance? and 2) Should a school system, once it has desegregated have to “in perpetuity, have the judge running the school district or should it be the citizens?”57 Clearly, the board was not satisfied with the answers given by both courts. So, they were determined to ask the same questions of the Supreme Court. In November of 1975, the court agreed to hear an appeal. In 1976, after seven years in the court system, Spangler v. Pasadena City Board of Education landed in the highest court and the board finally received some relief from Judge Real’s tight supervision.The Supreme Court decision stated, in part, that:If, as petitioners have represented, they have complied with the District Court’s order during the intervening two years [from 1974 to 1976], they will probably be entitled to a lifting of the District Court’s order in its entirety. The Court went on to state that the District Court and the Court of Appeals were in a far better position to judge whether or not the district had complied with the court-order. Finally, they concluded that the integration plan was not meant as a one step at a time remedy. But, as stated in Brown v. Board Education, it was a remedy whose “implementation did ‘achieve a system of determining admission to the public school on a non-racial bias.’”58Even though the Supreme Court gave Judge Real clear guidelines to follow, their decision did not return the school district to local control. In fact, it would be almost four more years until the district was placed back in the hands of the school board. Thus the Pasadena School District was not returned to local control until 1979.In view of the board of education’s present compliance with integration efforts and its official representations that it would continue to engage in affirmative action in the future in support of integration, the district court should have relinquished, after nearly ten years, its continuing jurisdiction over the schools. 59The six year court battle by a board that had been dominated by fundamentalists with extreme political views had exhausted the resources of the extreme right. By the time the war was over, they had lost control of the school board and the district because of the rapid growth in the Black and Hispanic populations in Pasadena and Pasadenans growing disgust at the board’s increasingly extremist policies and its inability to get out from under federal control. By this time, also, the conservative ambition had waned. Essentially, the fundamentalists had lost. In the end, their fight had become mainly a legal one.What were the lessons for progressives and fundamentalists of the decade long battle during the 1970s? After 1975, extreme conservatives realized that they could not make the major changes they had envisioned because of the court supervision and the vocal community outrage. They were forced to settle for making some modest changes, primarily through hiring educationally conservative administrators. The progressives, on the other hand, realized that they could not garner enough support to remove the conservative board. They had no choice but to wait until the board came up for re-election. Essentially both sides settled into a form of trench warfare. The years between the end of 1975 and 1978 were marked by a series of skirmishes over issues such as collective bargaining and the board’s insistence that they screen all educational films.The 1970s for Pasadena went beyond their usual “yo-yo” pattern between two ideological camps: progressives and fundamentalists. The evidence shows that because of the federal court-order to desegregate the school system and the resulting public discontent, fundamentalists garnered enough support using a “Stop Forced Busing” slogan to be elected to office. It quickly became clear to members of the community that these right-wing extremists had exploited the antagonism of the public over forced busing to get elected. Once elected they began to implement a series of policies designed to return the school system to what they termed “fundamental education.”Basically, fundamental education was designed to create disciplined, blindly patriotic citizens. By essentially molding the minds and characters of the school children in their image, these board members hoped to thwart the creeping cancer of federal control over local issues and the growth of a stronger centralized government that would “imbue [Americans] with an ideological world view dedicated to building a ‘new order.’”60 Their paranoia and extremism was evidenced by the fact that anyone who questioned the policies or actions of the board was immediately labeled a dissident, a militant, or an outside agitator.It is unclear whether or not, as some PFT officials believed, Pasadena was a test case for the right-wing nationally to see if the anti- busing slogan could be used to succeed in getting local school districts to abandon federal programs and return to traditional education, weed out educators that did not support the right wing, and purge the curriculum of “unacceptable” materials. However, the actions of the board and the progressives’ reactions provide strong evidence that the motives of the fundamentalists were much broader than a purely racist agenda. The evidence reviewed proves that the board dominated by Myers, Vetterli, and Newton during the mid-1970s had paranoid and extremist right-wing ideological beliefs and that they tried to mold these beliefs into school district policy through their philosophy of fundamental education.The significance of the Pasadena schools in the 1970s is that for a brief time it was clear to all involved that controlling the local school systems, and subsequently the minds of the children, was a powerful tool in dominating and guiding the ideological beliefs of United States citizens and that because of the situation and the fears of increased federal control and school integration in Pasadena during the 1970’s this control seemed possible for the fundamentalists on the far right. The events in Pasadena show that theories of racism are not enough to explain the events surrounding anti-busing campaigns. For these fundamentalists what was important was placing a fundamentalist ideology within the public school system that would replace the philosophy of progressive education which was undermining the bedrock of American values, “patriotism, responsibility, and morality.”61 Ultimately, however, political extremists were unable to control the system enough to implement their political and educational vision.