CBS Evening News for Sunday, Jun 04, 1978
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(Studio) Report on graduate time at one Chicago HS.
REPORTER: Morton Dean
(Chicago, Illinois) Roman Catholic archdiocese decision to close Providence-Saint Mels high school at end of month and reaction of grads. and others to decision reported [Grad. Bill WOODS - says public schools don't force pupil to study, but they do here.] [Student Angeleada CROWELL - would rather drop out of school than go somewhere else, because she thinks this one is good.] Efforts to keep school open described; is noted that Saint Mel's is only Catholic high school on Chicago's all-black west side. [St Mel's principal Paul ADAMS - states need for school's continued presence in community and lack of problems here that are encountered in many other schools. Asks why, if school is doing good job, it must be closed.] Refusal of church officials to discuss situation and their referral of news team to April 1978 interview with WBBM-TV reporter Peter Nolan with vicar general noted; film shown. [Monsignor Francis BRACKIN - says they have fought to save school, but can't continue to do so with borrowed money and there will be same problems next year] Position and chgs. of critics within church outlined. [Author, Father Andrew GREELEY - says church has responsibility to those west side children and compares closing of school to Pontius Pilate's washing hands of dealing with Jesus Christ.] [Class salutatorian Camille McTEER - calls for school to remain open for benefit of those coming after this class.]
REPORTER: Chris Kelley