MIAMI, NOV. 7 -- A boycott by blacks of Dade County schools and workplaces, a countywide attempt to show solidarity, had mixed success Tuesday.

School-bus drivers, students and teachers stayed home in droves, but the protest had minimal effect on businesses in the predominantly black Liberty City neighborhood.

Organizers said they achieved their goal of showing unity and increased frustration over what they see as a county permeated by racism.

"I'm elated," said the Rev. Willie Sims, one of the boycott's architects, after a lively midday rally. "I think what you see here is just fantastic, the spirit of our community coming together."

The one-day boycott, triggered by the appointment Oct. 24 of Octavio Visiedo as new schools chief over Tee S. Greer, a black educator and deputy superintendent, scored one near bull's-eye as the county's sprawling school-bus system was nearly hamstrung.

"We were hit hard," said Bill Stieren, school transportation chief. "We're just doing the best we can."

Only 28 percent, or about 300, of the 1,000 drivers showed up for work. School transportation officials had been expecting about 50 percent of their drivers.

Actual disruptions, however, were minor in most cases, teachers said, since lack of buses was offset by fewer students and many parents drove their children.

While it was impossible to know how many students stayed away as part of the boycott and how many could not find a way to school, principals reported widespread support of the boycott by teachers and staff.

"We've got our school psychologist teaching a math class today," said Samuel Gay, principal at George Washington Carver Middle School.

Black secretaries, custodians and cafeteria workers took personal-leave days, too.

For most black-owned businesses in Liberty City, it was business as usual. Some shop owners said they disagreed with the boycott's premise.

The selection of Visiedo "has been made," said Al Williams, owner of Al's Shoe Repair Shop. "They jumped a good man to put another man in office. It happens all the time. There is nothing we can do. Blacks need to be involved rather than react after the fact.

"Give {Visiedo} a chance," Williams said.

Other businessmen took the middle ground. Sonny Ray, owner of a hair salon, said the boycott was "positive for the black community," in that "it shows that blacks have a voice in the community."