Yesterday: Student strike

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 9, 2012

Ralph Hair recently supplied an October 1954 news clipping that included this photograph, connected to a student protest outside Spencer High. It appeared above the headline, “Student Strike Is Brief One.” The Salisbury Post said in an accompanying story that 50 to 75 students gathered on Rowan Avenue outside the school to protest the suspension earlier in the week of four classmates. The news article continued that the protest broke up around 2 p.m. when a woman, identified only as “Mrs. Harrison,” came on the scene, called out one of the students in the crowd and told him to get back to school. After that boy and a few others started heading back inside, the woman “told the remainder she knew everything wasn’t right, but ‘this is no way to settle it,’ ” the Post said. The crowd dispersed. Hair and a boy named Robert Foy, who was living with him, happened to be the students called out by “Mrs. Harrison,” who was Ralph’s mother, Mrs. Hair. She heard about the protest and walked the three blocks from home to make sure Ralph and Robert, both seniors, returned to class. Hair said the school principal actually called his mother, knowing that if anybody in Spencer could break up the protest, she could. He was right.