School Walkouts

Photograph of 1968 Edgewood school protest

Photograph of the 1968 Edgewood school protest showing a teacher continuing to teach a group of students outside the classroom in support of the school protest This image was downloaded from Ford Foundation. This image may contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holders. the material is made available in this image as a way to advance research and education only.Thisconstitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 106a-117 of the U.S. copyright law.

By: Landun Camacho             

School Walkouts is something that has been going on for a long time already. It is a form of peaceful protest by students to make a change to something they feel the need to stand for. School walkouts could be caused by many things for many reasons. Students will ban together to make a non violent mob and preach what they feel needs change. Although, when the school that is the focal point of the student protest finds out they are being targeted the students will be reprimanded for their actions so even though it is a peaceful protest there are punishments and risks into doing it. Most protests in Texas come from the vast majority of Chicanos due to the high population. Southern states seem to be the focal points of the racial protests but theres been a lot of progress made since the beginning, Chicano people have been discriminated throughout history and in order to make change without negative actions peaceful protests are proven to be most effective. This form of protest has proven to be effective when done right and has many times done exactly what it was made for in making drastic changes. Student walkouts are necessary for change and whether anyone likes them or not they will not stop and are very effective.

Recently in the news Students were walking out of their schools on a specific day which is March 14, 2018 to protest stricter gun laws in wake of the parkland shooting that took place recently.[1] This walkout was a national event organized to make the government really take notice. National media outlets covered it all over the country and this was a major topic in the news the day it happened. Student protest is something that many people support but there are just as much who oppose it completely and see it as negative attention. Students have been suspended and punished for this action.[2] Which just brings more negative attention because if you get in trouble for a peaceful protest why keep it peaceful in the first place.

School walkouts have been happening for a while now. In San Antonio in 1968 in the wake of Martin Luther King's death the racial prejudice protest movement was growing rapidly. Racial Discrimination and riots were abundant In East Los Angelo's, 22,000 students protested and walked out to raise awareness of racial prejudice in America.[3] This sent a ripple effect that lead into the San Antonio area which is heavily populated with Chicano people. Students from Edgewood and Lanier school districts in East San Antonio, Texas decided to do their part in making a change walked out to show they support this peaceful protest.[4] Students were very aware that Chicanos were fighting in the war against Vietnam for our country just to come back and not be able to speak Spanish around others and still be viewed as unequal to others. Students from Edgewood marched many blocks to the main office of the school district to protest for better facilities and the removal of the superintendent[5] at the time. This peaceful protest lead to many changes for the students with the district listening and building better facilities and removing and replacing the superintendent.[6] People got together for a peaceful protest and made this change a reality. This nonviolent protest lead to the students getting exactly what they wanted without anyone getting hurt in the process.

Another example is in the late 1960's and early 1970's Crystal City, a small town in South Texas, is a mostly Chicano based population. So the fact that they were being discriminated for speaking Spanish really had a big impact on the entire community.[7] Parents and students alike had to do something to ignite a big change in the way schools were treating their students. In this particular case the whites were being very overrepresented within the city councils and law enforcement officials. Even though the white people were the minority they seemed to control most of the power in the community. They set more rules within the school including an absolutely ridiculous one in which only one cheerleader in the school could be a Mexican while the other three were reserved specifically for white girls[8] and also having a requirement for a cheerleader to have a parent that graduated from high school. This was a huge outrage and students and parents went to the school board but that didn’t spark any progress in being more of an equal society. So they took it to the next level and went to the superintendent who allowed for three white and three Chicano girls. This sparked an uproar in the white community now. Now with both sides fighting and not being able to come to a compromise for equality the students decided they had to make a statement. So 2,000 students with the help of other neighboring towns going through the same problem coming together to take a stand.[9] Changes were made to the school that allowed for more equality and more diversity within the school board, community, and the staff. More Chicano people were being hired and now they were co existing with each other.

South Texas student walkouts is not something that happens often but when it does a large group bans together and don't stop until change is made. Student protests are peaceful with most having no form of violence occur at all. This protest raises awareness sometimes on a national level and the less violence that is involved the better it is for everyone. Students have the right to free speech and if they feel change is needed they should not be discouraged to take action. Chicano people have been discriminated throughout history and in order to make change without negative actions peaceful protests are proven to be most effective. The more we use our words the less violence happens and more positive will come from it. Student walkouts are important for change and whether anyone likes them or not they will not stop and are very effective.

 

[1] Grinberg, Emanuella, and Holly Yan. "A Generation Raised on Gun Violence Sends a Clear Message to Adults: Enough." CNN. March 16, 2018. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/14/us/national-school-walkout-gun-violence-protests/index.html.

[2] Grinberg, Emanuella, and Holly Yan. "A Generation Raised on Gun Violence Sends a Clear Message to Adults: Enough."

[3] Poggio, Marco. "Recalling the Walkouts of 1968." San Antonio Express-News. August 17, 2015. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.expressnews.com/150years/education-health/article/In-1968-students-here-defied-prejudice-and-6446428.php.

[4] Poggio, Marco. "Recalling the Walkouts of 1968." San Antonio Express-News.

[5] Poggio, Marco. "Recalling the Walkouts of 1968." San Antonio Express-News

[6] Poggio, Marco. "Recalling the Walkouts of 1968." San Antonio Express-News

[7] "Walkout in Crystal City." Teaching Tolerance. July 25, 2017. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/spring-2009/walkout-in-crystal-city.

[8] "Walkout in Crystal City." Teaching Tolerance.

[9] "Walkout in Crystal City." Teaching Tolerance.

 

Bibliography

Grinberg, Emanuella, and Holly Yan. "A Generation Raised on Gun Violence Sends a Clear Message to Adults: Enough." CNN. March 16, 2018. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/14/us/national-school-walkout-gun-violence-protests/index.html.

Poggio, Marco. "Recalling the Walkouts of 1968." San Antonio Express-News. August 17, 2015. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.expressnews.com/150years/education-health/article/In-1968-students-here-defied-prejudice-and-6446428.php.

"Walkout in Crystal City." Teaching Tolerance. July 25, 2017. Accessed April 03, 2018. https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/spring-2009/walkout-in-crystal-city.

 

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