Charlottesville High School reopened today after defiant students were...

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Charlottesville High School reopened today after defiant students were sent home and the principal said some still were upset about racial fighting that had forced the school to close.

Thirty-five students were sent home when they refused to go to class and another 150 refused to attend an extended homeroom period to discuss the school's racial problems.


Black and white students fought Monday and Friday with the trouble blamed on remarks printed in the school newspaper.

Principal David Garrett said school opened at 9 a.m. with few incidents. Concerned white and black students, Charlottesville Mayor Frank Buck and other community leaders wore buttons that read 'I Care.'

'There was some tension of course but we had some community leaders here,' said Garrett. The student 'are still quite upset.'

Garrett said 'the majority' of the 1,400-member student body went to the extended home room meeting and then on to class.

Garrett said he read a statement over the public address system apologizing 'for the insensitivity of some of the statements' that appeared school newspaper Friday,' and said he would see it never happened again.

Officials closed the school about 11 a.m. Monday after fighting broke out among students and two large, racially divided crowds of students could not be dispersed. A turnstile in the school library was broken by a crowd of about 50 black students, Garrett said. A fight broke out, but resulted in no injuries.


About 470 of the school's 1,369 students are black.

The tension -- and several fights -- began Friday when a story on the school's years of desegregation in the late 1960s appeared in the school paper, The Knight Time Review. The article not only reviewed the integration process but also contained racially inflammatory statements about blacks from unnamed students.

One quote, from an anonymous sophomore, said all that black students do in school 'is hang around the hall. They just come to get heat. They just mess around ... come to school 'cause they don't have nothing else to do ... they just come to smoke herb (marijuana) and all that stuff.'

The newspaper staff issued an apology for the article.

Garrett said the situation was aggravated Monday by painted slogans in the school parking lot that faculty members tried unsuccessfully to remove before students arrived.

One sign read, 'Niggers must die' while another read 'Seniors for White Supremacy.'

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