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Boycott Enters Second Day, 2,800 Students Stay Home

September 9, 1988

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) _ About 2,800 students stayed at home Friday, the second day of an NAACP- backed boycott by a black parents’ group seeking the ouster of a white superintendent and an assistant.

Picket lines appeared for the second day in front of the high school.

Assistant Superintendent Arthur Peyton said 6,082 students reported to school, a day after 3,000 students failed to attend classes Thursday. Officials said enrollment peaked Wednesday at 8,834. School opened Aug. 29.

″I thought truly that the absenteeism on Thursday was a combination of things - some kids decided to stay home, some got at school and decided to join the picket liknes, and other parents kept children at home because they truly supported the boycott,″ Peyton said.

″My calculated guess this morning was that students stayed home to support the boycott,″ he said.

Superintendent Nolan Vickers has declined to comment on the boycott or efforts to remove him and his assistant, Janet Sweatt. No meeting have been scheduled between school officials and parents’ group members.

Morris Kinsey, the education chairman of the Mississippi chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the organization was supporting the boycott by the Save Our Children organization, a local black parents’ group.

The parents’ group has led a boycott of local white-owned businesses the past six weeks, with very little support among the black community.

The group wants Vickers and Sweatt removed because of the recent adoption of what the parents claim is racially biased standardized testing in the school district.

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