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Dennis Martin has recently shared some of his amazing and detailed memories of our high school days on our class Facebook page.  Those of us who are members of the group "Winter Park High School Class of 1967" on Facebook have thoroughly enjoyed his often hilarious posts!  We hope that all of you will now be able to enjoy reading them on this website.  Your own memories just might pop up to the surface as you relive some of the things Dennis describes.  PLEASE share your memories with us!  You are invited to write blog posts for this site!  Help all of us remember...before our memories go!!!
July 17, 2016

Computerized Integration

By Dennis Martin

Here’s a story I’ve never told before. As President of the Student Council, I’d get lots of ads from different organizations – fund-raising ideas mostly – pendants, banners, whatever. An interesting one came in which we implemented – a dance which would computer-match students with several other students with whom they were most compatible. Students paid a fee, filled out some info on themselves, and then we sent it off and waited a few weeks for some big computer somewhere to do the matching. Remember, this was 1967. The dance was held at the WP Youth Center, and you wouldn’t know until the dance who you had been matched up with. I personally wasn’t able to attend the dance, since I was in Tallahassee that weekend at a convention.

Before the dance date, but after all of the data had been sent back to the computer outfit, the assistant principal (I forgot his name and I don’t have my yearbook with me now) called me into his office to discuss two of his concerns. First of all, the WP Youth Center had called him and said that they were a private club (remember those IDs?) and that they had a no-black policy. They didn’t want black students attending. What was I going to do about that? I told him that we were renting the facility, and so we could have non-members attend; therefore, their discriminatory membership policy didn’t apply. He accepted that and used that argument when he called the Youth Center back. Apparently it worked, because they let us continue with no further objections. Secondly, he said he had noticed that the questionnaire didn’t ask anything about race, and what would happen if a white student got matched up with a black student? I essentially said, “c’est la vie,” and we left it at that.

Well, it turned out that no black students attended and none filled out the questionnaires. But in hindsight, even though integration had started at WPHS, the mindset still had a long way to go.

 
 

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