Interview with Ann Crosby, April 6, 1982

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Interview with Ann Crosby, April 6, 1982
Crosby, Ann ( Interviewee )
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History of Florida Education Oral History Collection ( local )


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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Interviewee: Anna Crosby
Interviewer: Richard Stauffer
Location: 8620 NW 13th St. #304
Date: 04-06-82

Subject: Teachers' strike in Alachua County.

S: Mrs. Crosby, how are you today?

C: I'm just fine. How are you?

S: I'm just fine. Thank you. Are you a native of Florida?

C: I was born in Savannah, Georgia. And I lIved in Chattanooga and Atlanta and graduated

from high school in Jacksonville, Florida.

S: Where did you go to school, like from elementary school on?

C: I went to kindergarten in Savannah, first, second and third grade in Chattanooga,

fourth and fifth and sixth grade in Atlanta, seventh and eighth grades on through

high school in Jacksonville.

S: Well/you certainly had a varied schooling experience. Did you enjoy school?

C: Partly. Most of the time I did. I moved around a lot because my mother died when I

six and I was living with grandparents for a while til my father remarried.

S: Did you, did you feel that you received a fairly good schooling?

C: Yes, um hmm. I certainly did.

S: You were very well satisfied with it?

C: Went to kindergarten, private kindergarten/two yearswhich I think was a mistake.

I think it taught me that school was play and it took me a couple of years to get over

that, but otherwise I think I had a good schooling.

S: Did you like your teachers?

C: Yes.

S: And you think that they did a good job teaching you?

C: Yes, um hmm. I certainly do.

S: I see. Well, after you graduated from high school, what did you do then?

C: I worked for my father who was 13 e a: 0 engraver in Jacksonville for six years,

and then I got married and came down to Gainesville and had two children and after they

Page 2

C: got up in junior high school, then I went back to work for the school board.

S: I see. What does a photo-engraver do?

C: He makes the illustrations for newspapers, magazines and my father did the
-Aor- (oIc
University of Florida annual for twenty years straight. He does all the potfulic o work
e the portraits that go in the annuals or the magazines.

S: And what did you do when you were working for him?

C: I was secretary and then did some of the billing for him too.

S: How many people did he employ?

C: Around twelve.

S: I see. And was the union connected with that?

C: It was not connected until about the last year I worked for him. He had never had a

union shop and the union came in and organized and he had a union shop from then on.

S: How did he feel about the union coming in?

C: Well I think that the men really realized that they had done themselves damage. They

did not get paid for some of the holidays that my father had been paying them for and

they really went behind his back to organize. Every ime he went out of town, they would

have their union man came in, but he was not very pleased with the results.

S: Do you think it hurt them in the long run?

C: I think it really did and I think some of the men really admitted that it hurt them.

S: But your father accepted the union?

C: Oh yes. Yes, he accepted it. He did everything he was suppose to do for them.

S: Did you have any personal relations with the union?

C: No, cause I was not back in the main plant so I didn't have to join the union and

neither did my father. None of the office boys had to join them.

S: I see. How did you feel with the union coming in?

C: Well, I think that I felt bad for my father because it upset him and he had always

been fair with his men and I felt that, you know, they had really done themselves

damage and had done him damage, but we all survived it.

Page 3

S: Okay. You got married and came to Gainesville..Do you recall what year that was?

C: 1939.

S: And what did your husband do?

C: He was an electrical engineer and he was superintendent of the power plant with the

Kelley plant in Gainesville and then he became superintendent of the Deer Haven and

the Kelley plant combined. He was over both plants.

S: Um hmm. Was it called the Kelley plant at that time?

C: Um hmm.

S: I see. So he was superintendent.

C: Superintendent of that. Then he became superintendent of both plants together.

He was over both of them.

S: As superintendent, did he have a union?

C: No. They were not union. (I Ci{f was not unionized, '

S: Are they unionized today?

C: I don't know. I really don't. I don't think so but I'm not sure.

S: Do you know whether they tried to form a union at any time?

C: I think at one time they did, but I just don't remember that much about it.

S: Did your husband ever indicate one way or the other how he felt about unions?

C: No.

S: Well, you've got two sons you just said.

C: Yeah.

S: I see. Did they go through the public school system in Gainesville?

C: Yes. Both of them went all the way through Gainesville schools. They went to J.J.

Finley and then they went to Bzt Junior High School when it was uptown and then

they went to Gainesville High School.

S: How did they like the school?

C: Fine. They got, I think, a good education.

S: Well, what years did they graduate from Gainesville?

Page 4

C: My oldest one graduated in '61. The other one graduated in '63.

S: So they would have been already graduated

C: They were out of it, yeah.

S: When the strike came.

C: Um hmm.

S: Well, when they graduated from school, what did they do then?

C: The oldest one went to Duke and graduated in Botany. Then he got his Ph.D. in

b rJ C4 which is mosses and he's now with the Missouri Botanical Garden as

Associate director.

S: Did he get his Ph.D. from Duke?

C: Yes. 4 from Duke.

S: Well, Duke is considered a very good school, isn't it?

C: Yes, and he had a Duke scholarship to get his Ph.D. so hereally lucky. And the

younger one went to Duke for one year and came back down to University of Florida and

got his degree in wildlife and forestry and then he got his/easter's in wildlife and

forestry and had biology on his certificate and he taught biology at Gainesville

High School and is still teaching there.

S: Did either of your sons ever indicate how adequate they thought a preparation at

Gainesville High School gave them?

C: I think both of them got a good education at Gainesville High School. I really do.

They had accelerated courses and both of them were in a lot of accelerated courses,

especially the older one. He was in math courses and sciences courses.

S: Well your oldelfson who became the botanist, you say, in St. Louis, did he ever teach?

C: No, he teaches just one course at Washington University in St. Louis, but he's never

taught full-time.

S: But your younger son, he did become a teacher.

C: He taught wildlife and forestry in the middle schoolsfor a couple of years and then he

taught, MS he's been teaching biology at GHS for, I think this is his twelth year.

Page 5

S: So he's been at it for about fifteen years or so?

C: Yeah, he's getting ready to go into the Episcopal ministry.

S: Oh, I see. Well, why did he become a teacher?

C: I don't really know, because he started out wanting to be a journalist so I'm not,

you know, I think he just fell into it and he seems to be a good teacher and likes it.

S: I see. Well, when he was going through college and he was taking biology and so forth,

forestry, k4as he at that time intending to be a teacher?

C: No, I think he wanted to get into the wildlife management part of it, but at the time

that he got out, there was no jobs available so he just got into teaching to survive

I imagine.

S: And you say that he does like teaching though?

C: Yes. He teaches some of the accelerated classes in botany, I mean biology at GHS.

S: Well, did he ever indicate to you that maybe he was discouraged as a teacher?

C: No, I think that there's a lot of things now that he's discouraged about. I think he

he feels like that the kids are just not up to his quality of work because he does

teach the biology that is more advanced than some of the biology. That makes it harder

on him.

S: This is just something that occurred lately.

C: Yeah, the last couple of years he has kind of gotten discouraged about...

S: Does he, did he ever say anything about how teachers had it, the conditions in school,

whether he thought they were adequate or whether he was disgruntled at times?

C: Well, I think all of them are disgruntled at times. I think that there are a lot of

things that could be improved. We all know that. There is in anything. It's not just

teaching and I think that, yes, I think he gets discouraged. I think he gets discouraged

We have so many foreign students and he lectures so much that these foreign students

have quite a time in his classes. They can't understand what he's talking about so much

of the time.

S: Well, you said that he is going to enter the ministry or go to school to be a minister.

Page 6

S: Why is he now getting out of teaching and getting into the ministry?

C: Wel he feels like he has g calling. This is what he tells me and he thinks he's

got everything lined up. I kind of dread it for him, but he's going to live in

Chicago and he's up there freezing to death for an interview, but I hope it'll work

out fine. ZBatJs what he wants to do, well then, it's what I want him to do.

S: So it's more wanting to be a minister rather than not wanting to be a teacher.

C: Yeah, yeah.

S: Uh huh, I see. Did your son ever indicate his personal philosophy of teaching?

C: Not particularly. I really don't think so. You know, I really don't think so. He

expects the students to do what he says and he doesn't back down when he tells them

they are going to have a test. He doesn't back down on it. They have the test and they

know that what he says, he's going to stick up for and he thinks they appreciate

that in the long run.

S: Do you think that your duties as secretary in the school system had anything to do

with your son deciding to be a teacher?

C: No, I don't think so.

S: Okay. Could you go through your jobs as secretary for us and tell us where you started


C: Okay. I started out as secretary at WB r ior Cgh, school when it was down on

University Avenue in the old Gainesville 4igh schooll building,4nd I was down there

two years and then I went to Gainesville High School as the secretary with Mr. Talbot

when he was principal out there, %Tiny Talbot. And teea- I stayed out there through

his prinicpalship and through Mr. Hudson's principalship. Then I went with the

vocational director for the school board, was secretary for him for two years. Then I

came back to Gainesville High School as an occupational specialist which is a

mandatory teaching unit that all high school's have to have and the idea of it is, it is

you do not have to have a college education. You have to have four years worth

Page 7

C: of experience other than in the school system and you have to be able to relate to

the students and be interested in trying to help them with their vocational and

college inclination. I came out there and was there nine years as 6 occupational

specialist and retired last ysr. And now I'm working about two days a week in the

data processing department for the school board.

S: So all of your secretarial experience, with the exception of the initial experience

with your father's company1was in the schools. I see. And you were out at Gainesville

High School during the walk-out.

C: Yes.

S: I see. And who was the principal at that time?

C: Mr. Joe Hudson.

S: Well focussing on your experiences at Gainesville High School around the time of the

walk-out, could you tell us something about what your duties were?

C: Well, I had charge of the office, the front office, and I was called the executive

secretary for the school which was the head secretary for the school. I did any

typing or any work that Mr. Hudson asked me to do or the principal asked me, whoever

that happened be. I had charge of aides each period that did errands or did any work

that I assigned to them. I had charge of the incoming calls and any outgoing calls

that ja needd At that time I checked quite a few students in and out that got sick

and wanted to go home. I was just general office work is really what I did.

S: And you were Mr. Hudson's secretary. And as many jobs as you had, did you feel that you

were adequately compensated financially?

C: Yes. I think I was. I was ten months, most of the time, up until about the, I guess

until the time I went with the vocational director, I was ten months on, just ten months

I didn't work during the summer. Then when I went with him, I was twelve months. And

I've been ten months as a teacher too.

S: You were ten months as a teacher?

C: Yes.

Page 8

S: You taught?

C: No, well, I was the teacher salary, other than just getting in the classroom and

teaching. I had the teacher's salary and my title was teacher when I filled out B

applicationn and I did not go and teach classes as such as the teacher's do. I would

have classes into the career center and try to show them how to look up information

on careers and then I would go in the classrooms that the teachers wanted me to come in

and talk to the students and I had questionnaires and things like that that I would

give them to try to help them decide on something on a career.

S: I see. And you were paid for doing that in addition to your secretarial pay?

C: No, when I went back after as an occupational specialist, I didn't do any, secretarial

pay, except I did help with some of the data processing on the terminals.

S: And in '68 when you were at GHS, you were not an occupational specialist?

C: No. A secretary.

S: Just a secretary, I see. What contact did you have with teachers as a secretary at

that time?

C: Well, I, anything they wanted. I ran off all of their tests and I ran off anything
dy frw^ or
on the machines that they wanted run off on the mimeograph machines that they wanted

run off. I had charge of making out the payroll. I kept track of the budget that was

through the county office. We had a bookkeeper that kept track of the internal accounts,

but I kept track of the county office accounts and I, if they were sick, calledd

many a teacher some mornings.I started at six o'clock in the morning getting substi-

tutes. They would call me to get substitutes. So I had quite a bit of contact with the


S: Did you have any informal contact with them?

C: Yes. There were two or three that were very good friends of mine and there was one

that's still one of my best friends so I did have some informal contact too.

S: Okay. Did you, were you privy to what they were thinking about their work conditions

or anything?

Page 9

C: Well, some of them kind of loosened up, those that were closest to me. Most, I don't

really, the ones that I knew really did not do an awful lot of fussing about their

working conditions although I know they were not happy with some of them, but I think

most of them felt like it was that or get out. They had their choice so, but I

am sure they were unhappy or they wouldn't have gone on the walk-out.

S: Yeah. How would you characterize education in Alachua County at this time?

C: Right now?

S: No, in 1968. Excuse me.

C: I think it was, I think it was a high quality education. I really do.

S: Would you say it was that way throughout Florida?

C: I don't really know, but I would say that the majority of the counties were that way.

But I don't really know about, you know, all of them but I think most of them were.

S: Would you say that the citizens of Alachua County were very much pro-education?

Or sort of ambivalent toward it?

C: I don't think they were pro. I think for one thing, we have too many university people

here for them to be against a good education. No, I think they were for the best

education for the children that they could get.

S: Okay. Do you recall the names of the legislators of that period?

C: No, I really don't.

S: Of Alachua County?

C: No.

S: Would you happen to remember whether the state legislature was very much in favor

of increasing or maintaining the quality of education in Florida?

C: I think they wanted to maintain the quality and I imagine they didn't want to spend

any more money than they had to just like they don't want to now. But yes, I think

they wanted to keep the quality of education up.

S: Do you remember when Governor Kirk was elected?

C: Well, vaguely, but I don't remember now what years he was governor but I don't really

Page 10 .

C: remember that much about him. I know that he was and ft' S r 7$ L

S: You didn't, you don't recall any opinions you might have had of him at that time?

C: Well, right now, I don't think he was the best governor, but at that time, I don't

think I paid that much attention to him.

S: Do you recall anything about his educational philosophy?

C: No, I don't.

S: I see. Mrs. Crosby, what sort of individual becomes a teacher?

C: I can't answer that. I really don't know. I think there's a lot of individual5that

would be. I think some of them do it because they really love the children and want

to help them and I think some of them do because maybe their daddy was a teacher.

I just don't really know what would make you say you wanted to be a teacher. I think

that you really now would have to really like it more than you used to years ago.

S: I see. And based on your contact with the teachers of 1968, could you generalize and

say4they all liked teaching or how would you say it?

C: I would say the majority of them liked the teaching and I think a lot of them at that

time were trying to help put husbands to get their doctorate, they were trying just

like the students are now, trying to help their husbands get... Now, I think most of

them liked teaching, wanted to be teachers at that time.

S: So they were dedicated individuals as a group?

C: Yes. I think so.

S: And were there people out at GHS that were teaching to support their husbands at the

University of Florida?

C: Oh, yes. I'm sure there were, yes. I could maybe think of some that were, but I'm sure

there were at that time.

S: Well what do you think about teaching as a profession in relation to other professions

like secretarial work. Do you think teachers have it easier than other people do?

C: No, I don't think they have it easier and I think that many of them are underpaid and

I think some of them are just really in it to get the money. I really mean that. I

Page 11

C: think that's in any profession. But I think that most of them are, I think in Alachua

County that most of them are underpaid.

S: In 1968?

C: Yeah. And now too. I think, I really think that they have not gotten the raises that

they should have.

S: Well how far underpaid were they in 1968?

C: I don't have the slightest idea, but I think they were. Alachua County has always, one

reason we've been underpaid is there's always plenty of teachers available in Alachua

County because of the university. And so many of the men that come back to get their

degrees have wives who have been teachers. They maybe married when they were teaching

and so it's easy for the university to supply us with teachers, especially english and

social studies. We always have plenty of those.

S: In 1968, did a lot of teachers at GHS feel that they were underpaid?

C: Yes, I think that was one of their demands. One of their demands on the walk-out

was a raise in pay.

S: How about the townspeople at that time. Do you happen to know how they felt about it?

C: I think that most of the townpeople didn't appreciate the walk-out. I really don't

think they did. I think they thought the teachers should have stayed in and tried to

bargain while they were holding classes and not be against letting the children get

a good education.

S: Well, as far as the salary went, do you think the people of Gainesville felt the

teachers were not getting enough money?

C: I think maybe most of them felt they needed a raise. I really do.

S: Okay. What responsibilities did teachers have at GHS in 1968 besides actually standing

in the classroom? e

C: All right. A lot of them sponsored clubs which were like r. your key club,

your service clubs. A lot of them sponsored latin clubs, french clubs, the chorus,

different clubs of that type which they did not get paid extra for and at that time, we

Page 12

C: had night meetings of the clubs but now they have them during the day because of the

situation, kids going out at night alone. But they also had, well, they helped with

graduation which they still do, the sro- -p:.,:,A-i:. help w"'th graduation classes. They
sponsothe ch d/ ^ .s I;:-*t -j
sponso the cheerleaders. They spouiso different organizations at that time. There were

a few that they did get paid for. The cheerleaders sponsor had extra practices so she

got paid extra for that.

S: Well some of the uncompensated extracurricular activities that they had to sponsor, did

they volunteer for these or were they just told to do them?

C: No, they were mostly volunteers. The sponsors of the clubs were volunteers and then they

also had chairmen of departments; the english department would have a chairman and

now she gets a supplement for that. I don't know whether they did in '68 or not. I'm

just not sure whether that was a supplement or not.

S: Did teachers have duties such as, let's say, lunchroom monitor?

C: They never have in the high schools. They did in the elementary schools and they still

do, but they don't, they never have in the high schools. Most of them would eat in the

cafeteria and if there was any problem, some of them would get up and solve the problem,

but they didn't have, have to eat with a group of students.

S: Did they eat in the cafeteria or a separate room?

C: No, they'd eat in the cafeteria,B tables kind of to one side that they ate, but they

had never had a separate room at Gainesville High School.

S: I see. How long of a lunch break did they get?

C: I think at that time they had forty-five minutes. Now they have forty, thirty-five or

forty minutes, I'm just not sure. Last year it was forty minutes. I think it has been

shortened a little ) f 1i /ca /

S: So that was forty-five minutes that they could pretty much call their own.

C: Um hmm. And they would, after they got through eating, they could go to the lounge or

if they had an errand to do, they were allowed to go off like go to the bank, they could

go off campus and do that errand just so they were back in the classroom on time.

Page 13

S: Within the forty-five minutes they were allowed to do this and they, did they have to

eat lunch there?

C: No. There was a lot of them who brought their lunch.

S: Did they get a planning period everyday??

C: Yes, they had a planning period everyday at that time and right now, we're on what they

call the parish plans so they don't have one everyday, they just have one once a week.

But they had one everyday and some of them might have had that planning period before

lunch so they had a long break in there, or maybe they had it after lunch, so they had

an extra long break in there. So that's, and some of them had them first period in the

morning. That just depended on when they had them and at that time we needed the extra

room so that helped give us extra rooms to use. If some teacher was free, we could use

her room that free period and then she could go-on teaching the rest of the day.

S: How long were the periods at that time?

C: I think they were fifty minutes, but I just, I don't really remember that far back.

They've changed off and on over the years so now they're fifty-five minutes, so..

S: So every teacher at GHS could be certain of getting at least a fifty minute break

everyday. Now during that free period or eeperiod, was he told what he had to do?

C: No. They could come, they could stay in their room if the room was not being used,

grade papers, do their preparations. They could leave campus if they needed to. They

signed out if they left campus. They could go in the lounge and do work or visit or

whatever they wanted to do.

S: When they signed out, did they sign out with you as secretary?

C: We had a sheet up on the bulletin board and they signed out and then they would sign

back in. That was in case we needed to hunt them. Wed hap gone off campus and

they still do that.

S: They weren't told that they had to plan or anything?

Page 14

C: No. It was to their advantage because if they sat down and applied themselves, they

didn't have papers to take home and grade at night. It was an hour of quiet, they could

get quite a bit done.

S: What did you find that most teachers did during their planning periods?

C: Most of them did some work on either papers or planning. They sat there and worked on

what they needed to.

S: Were there any requirements of the teachers during the planning period, for example

to call parents of absentee children or anything like this?

C: No. Some of them did do it on their own, but that was.not one of the requirements. The

deans took care of that. Vr- -AO PQC iTH C -AvL

S: What did teachers think about their planning periods? Did they think they were getting

a long enough break? Or did they think it wasn't necessary?

C: I think they thought they were getting a break and I think most of them appreciated

the break and used it to their advantage. I think there were a few that wasted the time,

but most of them did apply themselves.

S: Would they have liked to have had a longer break?

C: Well, I think that was one of the demands in the walk-out was a longer break. They wanted

more free time maybe but I don't think they got it. They didn't get anymore free time.

S: In your opinion, was that free time necessary? Was the increased free time necessary?

C: No, I think the time that they had, I think that teachers just really think that they

have got some work to do at night. A good teacher's going to do that and get the papers

back to the students as quick as they can or review or whatever they need to do. I'think

they know they've got homework to do just like the students.

S: When you were at GHS, do you recall whether they had very much in the way of audio-

visual equipment?

C: We had a fair amount back then, but now they have very good audio-visual equipment
S section. We (tape side 1, A ends here) We have more variety of equipment now to choose

from then we did back in 68 so I think that's another reason that we have a better

Page 15

C: equipped lab and also the school board has given us money to equip them and we've gotten

some grants to do that too.

S: Do you think the money was adequate at that time?

C: I think at that time, for the equipment, -no I don't think so because I think we could

have had better projectors and more projectors and equipment at that time.

S: How did the teachers feel about it? Did they ever indicate?

C: Well, I think most of them would have liked to have had more projectors than we had.

Sometimes one of them couldn't use the projector because there wasn't one available,

but I think now that they have plenty of equipment. There's no reason for any of them

ever having to wait on anything.

S: In 1968, did they ever indicate whether it handicapped them in any way not having enough


C: Well, I think lots of days, maybe they couldn't show a film today that they would like

to have had and had to wait and show it tomorrow but they worked it out one way or


S: How about textbooks? Do you feel that they had good enough textbooks?

C: I think most of the textbooks, as well as I remember, were good then, yes, and I think

they had plenty of them. Now we do have, well, we have more up-to-date ones. Of course

they replace them every, they have a committee that chooses them every so many years9

and up dates them.

S: Did they replace textbooks in 1968?

C: Yes.'Ahd if a student lost a textbook, he had to pay for it, which he does now too.

They were accountable for their textbooks then and they are now.

S: How about supplies, you know, pencils and paper and things like that?

C: Well, we did not supply pencil or paper and they don't do it now. They furnish their

own. We had a school store that sold those in the store, but we did not supply. We do
pen C re (1 C. 0(
for tests. We supply dears if they take e statewide test*, but just

ordinary things, they do not. Now they, I think they do some in the elementary schools,

but not in the high schools.

Page 16

S: Do the teachers ever indicate what they thought about that system?

C: I think they were satisfied with that.

S: Did they ever say that their students maybe couldn't buy the material?

C: I don't, well, if a student absolutely couldn't buy it, there were always pencils or

something around that a teacher could loan hemr for that period. You know, and there

was paper available that they could give him so the teacher, the students didn't suffer

if they couldn't buy it. They were taken care of.

S: How did the community look upon teachers as a group? In ethical behavior, do you think

that they expected very high behavior from these teachers?

C: Yes, I think they do, and I think they do still expect a teacher to have good ethics.

I really do.

S: So you think this is justified?

C: Yes.

S: And you think that teachers of 1968 were very well behaved as a group outside of class?

C: Yes. Um hmm. I think maybe back then parents really expected more of the teachers than

they do today and I think there are a lot reasons behind that. I don't think the families

are as close knitted as they used to be. There are so many broken homes that families

just not there to see that the teachers do a lot of things they- should be deirg. They

can't get in touch with the parent about it, then the student suffers.

S: If a teacher in 1968 had a grievance, if ar didn't like the way something was going

on in the school system and he wanted to change it or to voice his grievance where it

counted, how would he go about doing that?

C: Well, I think most teachers would have gone to the principal first and tried to work

it out with the principal. Then, some of them would have gone to the superintendent if

it was say like a principal or an assistant principal, he may have gone to the super-

intendent about it. Then they would have gone to the AQA president because at that time

they didn't have an executive secretary, so they didn't have a paid executive

secretary like they -B now so that, but I think most of them would try to work it out

Page 17

C: with the principal or the superintendent.

S: You -mentioned AGA. What does that stand for?

C: Alachua County Education Association.

S: so its ACEA. I see. What was that?

C: Well, it was just a kind of like an association, which is what it said, that the

teachers joined. They paid dues into it, and they had a president and vice-president,

all the officers and they had meetings, I don't remember now how many times a year

they would have meetings, and they tried to work out problems with the school board.

It was really an association. It was not, at that time, a union. I mean it was not called

called a union. It was an association.

S: It wasn't called a union, but wasr-there a difference between this association and a


C: Yes, I think so. I don't think it was geared like a union. No, I think it was more of

an association like the realty board association or like that.

S: Okay. Did teachers have to join this association?

C: No, they did not.

S: But if they did join, then they had to pay dues.

C: Yes.

S: And do you feel that it was in anyway beneficial to the teachers?

C: Yes, I think it, besides the contacts they made wee-fr other teachers and I think

they worked out their problems maybe between them by going to these meetings and dis-

cussing problems. I think they worked out some without them maybe getting out of hand.

S: How do you view the association? Do you think it was a good thing in the long run?

C: Yes.

S: I see. Well, if it became a question of finances and the principal couldn't help them

and the superintendent couldn't help them, was there any person higher that they could

go to?

C: I guess the next step would have been to go to Tallahassee to the Department of Education

Page 18

C: But I don't think they really had to do that. I think that most of them understood that

the principalK had a budget/ and they would do the best they could fs them.

S: Do you feel that there was anybody in the state legislature that they could have talked


C: I'm sure there were and I don't even rem er who the legislators were from this section,

but I'm sure, yes, I'm sure there was somebody there that would have helped them.

S: Okay. Well, the strike took place in the 1960's. How would you characterize that decade?

C: Well, I think it was pretty rough. We had integration during the si4t-; and we had

the, the teacher walk-out and I think that we all had a lot of adjustments to make and

we still had some adjustments that we've got to make, but I think we had more at that

time that kind of pushed in on us close together, that we had to make.

S: Do you feel that tension from the national scene came into Gainesville such as

political assassinations or anything like this?

C: Well yes. I'm sure it did. And I'm sure some of the problems we had were brought in

by outsiders, you know, that were maybe sent to Gainesville to stir up problems or

came in and thought it was a good place to start working on problems.

S: Do you see any connection between outside agitation and the teachers walk-out?

C: I don't know that I would say that I see something there but I'm sure that maybe there

was some agitators that maybe helped along with it but I don't really know that for a


S: Were such things as Vietnam or political assassinations, did they play a part in

creating a climate conducive to the teachers' walk-out?

C: I don't think so. I don't, I can't see where that was any reason.

S: Well, you mentioned integration. Now, how did that come about in Gainesville?

C: Well, at Gainesville High School, the first we had integrated was, we had one black

in each grade. Then they increased a little, one had

S: In each grade or in each class?

C: No, in each grade. In ninth grade, tenth grade, eleventh grade and twelth grade, we

Page 19

C: had the first, were the first ones. Then they closed the black high school, which

was Lincoln High School. All of those students came to Gainesville High School and we

were on double-sessions. We had all of those. They were integrated in with our other
-f#o 1eab/lP
teachers so we had, I mean other students, so we had double-sessions zta to take

care of all those. We had, of course, the teachers from Lincoln High School, came over

and taught some of the classes at Gainesville High School. Some of them went to other

schools, but most of them came to Gainesville High School.

S: Well how long of a time elapsed between just having one student in each grade and

having everybody integrated?

C: I think about three years, but I'm just guessing really. I don't really remember. I'd

have to sit down and try to figure it out, but I think maybe three or four years before

we had everybody over.

S: Okay. Was it easy or was it difficult?

C: We had some difficulties and I think we had some people that were agitating that to make

difficulties. Yes, we had difficulties.

S: Some students agitating?

C: Well, we had parents that were agitating too. We had parents that, you know, were

hot about it and we had students that had fights and we had some of our teachers that,

we had one that was hurt pretty bad. He stopped a fight. So yes, we had trouble on


S: Did you have additional duties because of integration?

C: My hours were longer and I was up front where when something happened, I was the first

that you know, got it. But I was backed up by the principal and assistant principal so

that was the main thing that helped out.

S: How do you think the teachers at GHS generally felt about integration?

C: Well, I think trrt- most of them knew it was coming and they accepted it. There were

some that did not, but I think the majority of them accepted it because they knew it

was what was coming.

Page 20

S: Were there any teachers who were very vocal in their acceptance of it?

C: There were a few, not very many though.

Si How did the community feel about teachers who weren't in favor of integration?

C: I don't know. I would say that they appreciated them trying to keep things ca1lmbut

I just don't know that.
S: Di4-you feel that the teachers role in integration in any way alienated Alachua County

or made them anti-teachers?

C: No. I don't think so.

S: Do you think integration had any affect at all on the teachers strike?

C: No. I don't think so.
'-ak --f ic
S: Do you te teachers" strike had any affect at all on integration?

C: No.

S: Do you think integration would have been in any way smoother had it not been for the

teachers* strike?

C: I don't really think the teachers strike had anything to do with it one way -or

another/cause I think the teachers were really trying to get their problems solved

personally more than anything else.

S: I see. Okay, was integration largely completed when the teachers walked out?

C: Yes.

S: Was it completely completed?

C: I would say maybe ninety percent. We were still having some problems and we still have

little fights and things today so I think most of it was completed.

S: Okay, Mrs. Crosby, let's get into the teachers' walk-out. Now as you understand it, what

were the causes of this walk-out?

C: I think they wanted to have more pay. I think they had hoped maybe they would have some

more free time and I don't really know what their other demands were. Mainly I think

the pay situation was the biggest problem that they were trying to get solved.

Page 21

S: Do you recall whether they had any figures for pay?

C: No. They most likely did but I don't know what it was.

S: Well, how did the teachers go about presenting their grievances?

C: They, there was a theatre up on University Avenue and they used this theatre in the

morning# I think they had to be out by one o'clock and they would have their meetings

in there in the morning and then break up into committees possibly in the afternoon

so that they could try to solve some of the things that they'd discussed that morning.

S: Well, was this before or after the walk-out?

C: That was during the walk-out.

S: During the walk-out, yes, okay.

C: I imagine that they tried to air some of their problems at their ACEA meetings

that they had and they may have had more meetings around that time then they did


S: Well, #prior to the walk-out, how did the public become aware that the teachers had


C: I would say mainly by the teachers airing, trying to air themAand A. on radio

or just talking to people.

S: Was there an active program in which the teachers tried to get their grievances across

to the public?

C: At the school boardjmainlyI would think. You may ot like having a program on the

radio every week, but going to the school board and trying to get the grievances out.

S: Okay. Were these grievances presented over a long time or was it a very quick procedure?

C: I would say it was fairly quick procedure. I don't think it lasted, I can't remember

now how long it did last. I think it, I would say three weeks and it could have strung
50 \ ADO-J' -rH1ir'W T4AT7
out a great deal longer. I would say that it was a long procedure.

S: Well that was the walk-out itself. It took place over three weeks. Let me see if I

can re-phrase that question. Was there a long time period prior to that in which the

teachers were trying to solve their grievances?

Page 22

C: I'm sure there was. Yeah, I'm sure there was. But then I wasn't a teacher. I didn't

get in on that kind of thing and the secretary or the non-instructional personnel

have really never had an association like that. They tried it once, but it never didos

get off the ground.very well.

S: I see. Okay, do you, you may not know the answer to this question, but do you recall

whether the teachers presented their grievances in Tallahassee?

C: I do not know that.

S: Okay. Did the walk-out come as a surprise to you?

C: I think that a lot of us kind of thought it was building up/but I think maybe they kind

of surprised us the time they did it. Maybe we didn't realize it was coming

quite so soon, but I think that we knew it was coming sooner or later.

S: So you did think that there was going to be a walk- out?

C: Yes.

S: Well, what made you think that?

C: Mainly people talking, you know, in the lounge, and teachers talking to each other in

the hallway and things like th4i.

S: Do you think teachers were doing whatever they could, other than walk-out, do you

think that they were doing, following the right procedures?

C: Well, I think they tried, but I don't think maybe they tried hard enough or they would'n

have had to have the walk-out. That's just my opinion cause I was against the walk-out

anyway so I just don't think they tried hard enough.

S: At the time, did you also think they didn't try hard enough?

C: Yeah.

S: Can you think of anything that maybe they could have done in addition to what they had

been doing?

C: Well, no, cause I really don't know that much about their organization at that time and

how they did things, so I just really don't know.

S: Well, how did you personally find out about the walk-out?

Page 23

C: I think the first-I knew the teachers weren't going to be there was when I got to

school in the morning. I may have, I don't remember knowing about it ahead of time,

so when I got to school that morning.

S: Do you recall whether the principal had a meeting in which he weFe you of this?

C: No, I think he would just tell me that, call me into his office and tell me, you know,

that we were just going to have to re-schedule things the way we were doing things.

But no, I don't think there was a meeting, and there was not, as well as I recall,

there was not a meeting of the students. We may have had a meeting of the seniors cause

they were the main ones that were concerned with graduation.

S: Did you follow a normal schedule that day? You personally.

C: Yeah, I think that day I did.

S: Was it unusually hectic in any way?

C: Well, yes, because we had substitutes in, we had parents, professors even from the

university that came over and tried to take the classes and help out.

S: During the first day?

C: Well, some of them that we could call on to come help like some of the active PTA

members and we had PTA at that time, and we had some of the teachers would double up

on classes and try to sit until we could find somebody to come in and take the classes.

S: Well/who was it in charge of this deciding who doubled up and AV

C: The principal.

S: The principal was. I see. Now how did the parents find out that the walk-out had taken


C: I would say on the radio, but I just don't know. I really don't. R I _'(Aq

S: Can you tell us as a rough percentage about how many teachers walked out?

C: I would say maybe roughly forty percent of the GHS teachers, but I think it was larger

in some of the other schools.

S: Was it just a question of not coming into work?

C: They just didn't come to work. They went &to the theatre to the meeting instead.

Page 24

S: Did any teachers come to work?

C: Oh yes. We had quite a few that did.

S: But all teachers knew about a walk-out?

C: Maybe the first day there was nearer maybe sixty percent that weei out and th n we

had a few teachers that came back to school after they had been to a couple of meetings.

They decided they weren't going to keep on walking-out so they came on back to school

in a day or two. But it may have been closer to sixty percent that walked out and forty

that stayed in.

S: Well why did these teachers come back once they had initially walked-out?
snme f them
C: Well, I think realized that, well some of the principals in the county just told them

if they walked-out they didc't have a job, 4;F they did not walk-out. I think some of

them realized that they were doing the students harm. I think they realized they were

doing themselves harm in the community and with some of the other teachers and they

just decided the best thing to do was to get in there and do what they were being paid


S: Did the principal at GHS say anything to the teachers who were walking out?

C: No, I think he stayed pretty neutral. I think he had to stay neutral.

S: Well, did he leave them any instructions about their lessons or anything like this?

C: Any teacher that walked out was suppose to leave all of their books available for

whoa;r was coming in. They were suppose to have given lesson plans for them so

evidently there was word 4o Daf d o that they were getting ready topalkcout when

they were told to leave their books available. Some of them, most of them did. There

were a few that didn't leave things and we just had to try to get some teacher that

taught that same subject to help out with some of the lesson plans.

S: Okay, the ones that did walk-out, were they all very much in favor of the walk-tout, or

were their opinions split?

C: I think most of them were very much in favor of it. There were a few that were kind of

on the fence and they're most likely the ones that came back, the majority of those that

came back to Gainesville High School, the ones that were on the fence.

Page 25

S: The ones that stayed in as a general rule, why did they stay in?

C: I think most of them thought it was their position to stay in and teach the kids, and

some of them did not believe in organization of ACEA the way they had organized it, but

I think the majority of them felt like they were being paid to teach the students and

that's what they were there for and that's what they were going to stay there for.

S: I see. Well, what do you think the students thought about the walk out?

C: Well, I think the majority of them felt that the teachers were not being fair to them.

And I think there were a few that thought it was funny, which is normal even in the

situation, but I think most of them felt the teachers were not being fair to them.

S: Did the students understand, do you think, the grievances that the teachers had?

C: I think they knew what they were. I don't know that they, you know, really felt that

they understood them, but I think they knew what most of the grievances were.

S: Did your duties in any wgy change during the walk out?

C: Not, no, I don't think, they may have increased a little bit, the work load may have

increased but they didn't change any.

S: Well you were very much opposed to the walk out you say. Did you make this opposition

known at the time?

C: I think I did to a few people which maybe I shouldn't have but I did48 I0w f

S: Okay. Were any students at the time especially hurt by the walk out, do you think?

C: Well, I think that the seniors were hurt most because they were getting ready to get

out and get ready for college and I think some of them didn't get maybe one unit they

didn't get t work that they should have done in that unit that a normal teacher

could have given them atA a substitute didn't. Some of the substitutes may be in

science was really abS>english major but that's what we had to put in there to keep

kids in school.

S: The ones who stayed, did they, the teachers who stayed, did they receive their normal


C: Yes.

Page 26

S: And the ones who walked out. Were they paid during the walk out?

C: I don't think they were, and I think that was one reason that maybe it didn't last any

longer than it did. ,/44 g they weren't going to paid for that walk out time.

S: Did they ever have an opportunity to make up the money?

C: I don't think so but I just don't know.

S: Did MBk school get held over let's say three weeks into the summer?

C: It seems to me that the tenth and eleventh graders came and stayed afterwardSand those

teachers that walked out and came back workO, of course, made up that pay at that

time, but they had to teach that much longer. The seniors graduated on time so the

tenth and eleventh graders had to make up that time cause all of them didn't come to

school during that time and couldn't ,,//// / : ) J
*L^TO ^x A f- k(A,'O
S: How about extracurricular activities at the time?

C: Most of those were cut out. The sports, most of those were over with except maybe

tennis and golf and baseball and they tried to carry on those sports with seniors mainly

S: I see. Could you get enough substitutes in to handle all the classes?

C: Yeah, we handled them pretty good. Between the substitutes and the parents who came

without being paid and doubling up on what classes we had to.

S: Why do you suppose parents came in to teach?

C: Well, I think parents wanted the kids to go ahead and be in school and I think some

of the parents that came 0 carry on in a math class because they were maybe a major

in math but they weren't a substitute teacher. They just came in and helped.

S: Was there any attempt to look into their qualifications?

C: I don't think so at that time. I think we were just so glad to see them come help us

that we opened our arms to them.

S: Do you have any opinion as to the quality of teaching that they provided?

C: I think they could 1ave provide* quality teaching but maybe some of them had been out

of that type of teaching for a while, some of the professors at the diversityy and also

I think that, well, a regular classroom teacher is going to be able to keep track of

where they should be in a book, so no, I don't think they got the same quality teaching.

Page 27

S: Did any of the teachers who walked out and then came back remark at a later date about

the quality of teaching?

C: Well, I'm sure some of them fussed about that they woe-getting what they should have

got in the class. I can think of one or two that did.

S: I mean about the substitutes. Did teachers say one way or the other whether the


C: Yeah, some of them did, because some of them, like I say, in a math class, maybe we

would have to use an english major so ktab they were not getting math that they should

have gotten.

S: How did the parents of the children feel about the walk out?

C: I think Umbe majority of them kind of resented the teachers doing it.

S: Were there some parents in favor of the walk-out?

C: There may have been a few/but Idon't think there were very many.

S: Do you recall why anybody might be in favor of the walk-out as a parent?

Any reasons?

C: No, I don't know why they would but they may have had their good reasons?

S: Do you recall any support that the teachers received who walked-out?

C: I think some of them received some support maybe from some of the townspeople and

they may have even had some of them picketing. I don't know whether some of the,

whether it was just teachers that were doing the picketing or whether some of the

townpeople helped. I just really don't know V;; 4 ,

S: There were no pickets at the school -e-t-q ?

C: No pickets at Gainesville High School, but there were at the school board and at the


S: I see. Well, what did the teachers who walked out do on a normal day during the walk out

C: They would go to the theatre and meet til one o'cloc Aso that they could open the

theatre, and then they would break up into committees and they would go to someone's

house or something like that and try to work on what they had done and bring up the

next step.

Page 28

S: Well what did they do at the theatre?

C: I guess they had speeches and then these committees most likely brought up what they

had worked on the day before. I don't really know, but I'm sure they had speeches for

different ones on the ACEA board.

S: How was the enthusiasm of these teachers as the walk-out continued?

C: I think they kept it up, their enthusiasm was kept up pretty good, and I'm sure the

superintendent went and tried to talk to the teachers that, you know, he was trying to

help end the walk-out in any way he could.

S: Well, how did they come to use this theatre?

C: Well, it just happened that they rented it and I guess it was just available and it's

torn down now so it's not. It's up on University Avenue near the railroad track.

S: Do you think that they rented it, meaning the association rented it?

C: Yeah.

S: How do you think the townspeople felt about them meeting at this place?

C: I don't think they minded.

S: Did you have any feeling yourself on it?

C: No. It didn't make a matter to me, you know, That was one of the places they could

meet. There really wasn't any other places I guess in town that were big enough other

than the school auditoriums or something that they couldn't use.

S: Do you think that the teachers suffered very much during the walk out? The ones

who did walk out.

C: I don't think they suffered as far as suffering is concerned. I think that it kind of

ended some friendships among some of the teachers, those that did walk out and those

that didn't. I think it made some scars.

S: Well, let's say financially. Do you think it hurt them financially?

C: No, well, yes, I would say it did in the long run. I would think it was *@cr A.rfI

S: How about the newspapers of the time, and the radio stations? How were they presenting

the strike to the people?

Page 29

C: They just had it as a news event

(end tape A, side 2)

(Begin Tape B, side 1)

S: Well, Mrs. Crosby, the teachers that stayed in, do you recall what they were saying?

C: Well, I think a lot of them felt that the teachers were letting them down that had

walked out, and I think they felt that they ought to get back in the classroom and

do what they were suppose to be doing, but I don't know that they were saying, you

know, any specific things.

S: Do you recall any teachers who did not walk out but maybe wished that they had?

C: No, because they could have, I'm, well, they may have after it was all over, but they

could have walked:,'`initime after they wanted to on the 10th day or something hey

could have walked out if they had changed their minds.

S: Do you recall whether any teachers fact walked out later?

C: There may have been one or two, but I don't really remember whether we did have any

that walked-outI think most of them that stayed there held on to the state/ t *

S: The ones that did walk-out, were they sure of getting their jobs back?

C: At Gainesville High School, I don't think that they worried about that. At some of the

schools, they were told if they walked out, they would not have a job and at

Gainesville High School, I don't think that i+h- principal told them that at all cause

there were no f-li again tt-tel t I know of and this is what the principal also
-Or-;PrS 4 Qvfl;Mft u q (/PJWo7t.
has said, that there were no 'fi4-5g- &'im ns[ There may have been at some of the

other schools, but I just don't know what the other schools did.

S: Okay, so everybody who walked out and wanted to come back, then they were eligible


C: Came back, and I think ninety-nine percent of them came back.

S: How did the strike end?

C: It ended with teachers voting with the advice of the ACEA to end the walk out, and the

school board had the power to say whether they would accept their terms or not, and they

did accept them.

Page 30

S: Do you recall whether the teachers gained from the walk out?

C: I don't think right away they gained. I think maybe over the years theyAgained because

they've got an organization that really is not, they call it an association but it's

more like a union now because they have an executive and they do bargain for their

contracts more than they used to.

S: Well, you said,,,excuse me.

C: They're in bargaining right now with the school board.

S: Well you said that the teachers made certain demands which led to the walk out.

Increased pay, I believe you said. You, do you recall whether these demands were met?

C: I don't think that any of the demands were met right at that time. I think they ended

the walk out with the understanding that they would work on these demands over the

summer and try to resolve some of them and they did as far as I remember, resolve the

salary issue. I think the teachers got a pretty good increase in salary at that pnt

which wasI'm sure the main thing that they walked out fol-was salary.

S: Were you surprised that the walk out ended so quickly? Or maybe you didn't even, maybe

you didn't think it was quick.

C: Well, I don't know whether I really thought whether it was quick or not, but I was kind

of surprised that it did end, maybe, as easily as it did end without any more problems

with the teachers and pickets and things like this. It surprised me in some ways/the

way it ended.

S: The first day that the teachers came back, do you recall that day?

C: I don't, I vaguely remember it. I think that there were a lot of teachers that walked

out that resented those that didn't/and maybe didn't talk with them, but I think those

tensions eased up &-the months following the walk-out. They all realized that they had

to get along and teach together, and thn that the children ses not each other.

S: Do you remember any heated arguments developing?

C: Well, I'm sure I heard some, but I don't remember what they were about, But I'm sure

in the teachers4 lounge and in the hallway, there were some.

Page 31

S: How was the quality of education for the remainder of the term?

C: I think the teachers, when they came back, got in there and tried to make up for some

of the time they'd lost, got back in on the teaching t i rf went back to the

same quality.

S: Do you imagine that there are still differences of opinion about the, well, let's, let

me put that another way. Do you imagine that there is any animosity today between

teachers who walked out and teachers who didn't? i+

C: I think there are a few that still have that feeling against those w didn't walk out.

Yes, I think it's veryafew, but I still, I'm sure that there's two or three in the

county that are very strong that walked out and thought they were right and everybody

else was wrong.

S: Well, Mrs. Crosby, to conclude our tape, I'm wondering if you would generalize for us

as to what, if any, long range affects you see from the walk out?

C: Well, I think the main thingothat the teachers did get better salary schedule as well

as I can tell. I think maybe they got a little bit more equipment and materials which

was one of their demands. The school board just had to up their budget and we most I

likely had our taxes upped to take care of it for my school i was up, but I think

that in the long run maybe the students T'Qe-gained from it.

S: Do you feel that the quality of education was better because of the walk out?

C: I don't think it had anything to do with the quality of education. I really don't.

That's up to the teachers.

S: I see. Would you say that you feel the same way today that you did at that time about

the walk out?

C: I think that I still would say that I would not believe in it because I just, I think

if you don't like the job, then quit it. Don't beef about everything that's wrong and

go ahead and make the best of occasion or else go ahead and find another job. That'

just always the way I've been and I'm not going to change a4 this year in my life.

S: Okay, Mrs. Crosby. We thank you very much for this interview.

C: Well, I hope it will help you.