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Dorchester High School for Boys on strike
Dorchester High School for Boys on strike
Click image for more information
 Dorchester Illustration no. 2168

Today it is hard to imagine that there were rules for clothing worn to school in former years. The illustration is a press photo that probably ran in a Boston newspaper. Newspapers in other cities picked up the story from the wire services.

Binghamton (NY) Press, October 16, 1950
500 Stage School Strike Over Ban on Dungarees
Boston--(U.P.)--Pupils stated a strike today for permission to wear dungarees at Dorchester High School for Boys. Some 500 students stayed away from classes.

Headmaster Albert F. Reed said he understood the strikers wanted to wear dungarees to industrial shopwork classes.

Crowds of pupils at the school gate chanted: "We want dungarees."
A squad of police preserved order on the school grounds.

Reed estimated that 100pupils showed up for classes on schedule, but added that he believed several hundred" others would have entered the school if they had not been intimidated by the "ringleaders."

"I think the small boys are afraid of the big ones," he said.

The school has a total of about 600 pupils, about one-third of whom take the industrial course. Pupils are required to wear either street clothes or cotton khaki drill uniforms to all classes.

Reed said he did not consider it unjust to forbid dungarees "since khakis are a lot cheaper for boys who do not want to wear their suits to shop work."
A spokesman for the students said the strikers also sought repeal of a new school rule forbidding unrestricted visits to locker rooms.

Reed said the students never had complained about the rule on dungarees and locker rooms visits.

Lewiston Daily Sun, October 17, 1950
Dorchester High Students Strike

Quit Classes, Demonstrate Against School Rules

Boston, Oct. 16 - AP- Police today talked 300 high school boys into settling a "strike" that kept them away from classes two hours.

But before the students went back to Dorchester High School for Boys, police said this happened:

One group of boys smashed milk bottles against parked cars, littering nearby Norfolk Street with broken glass.

Some 200 others invaded the grounds of the girls high school at Codman Square.

Finally six policemen rounded up the boys, who filed into the building in lines of five.

The strikers objected to school regulations forbidding the wearing of dungarees in industrial classes and limiting the number of visits to the locker room. Headmaster Alfred F. Reed reused to change the rules after a meeting with a student committee.

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Created: October 26, 2014   Modified: October 26, 2014