Proviso High School Maywood Illinois

In 1959 to 1961 I was a student at Proviso High School located in Maywood Illinois just outside of Chicago.

When I went there the school had just started to split into two campuses. There was a Proviso East (where I went) and a Proviso West. Many of the students that were “Proviso West” were bused to Proviso East in the morning and then transferred back later in the day as the West did not have all the resources that the East had.

In  the 1960s the school had a student population of around 7,000 students…..yep… I wrote 7,000 student. There were at least 5 street gangs that went to East, and I belonged to one of them. Yep. True. So I left the school by joining the USMC in 1961 just as I entered my Junior Year. I could see no future there and opted for the Marines instead of the possibility of being hurt in a street fight or going to jail for something stupid.

In 1963 a riot broke out in the school cafeteria and over 100 highway patrolmen were called into to secure the school, bring peace, and act as hall monitors. The violence did not stop. I had a friend that was knifed in an alley across from the school.

Parents were called in and had to act as hall monitors. What a mess.

In 1965 I came home from being in Vietnam and discovered the insanity was still going on at the school.  Anyway, so much for big schools.

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