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East Los Angeles Youth Take Power

December 3, 2002

Thirty years ago, thousands of high school students in East Los Angeles gained the attention of the nation by walking out of their schools in protest of poor quality education, under-resourced school conditions and racist curriculum. In 1968, the student organizers built a student movement that shut down the Los Angeles Unified School District and led to some concrete improvements, such as the implementation of Chicano Studies and bilingual education. The students challenged the notion that young people could not impact policy and take an active role in changing education. But above the school reform gains, the 1968 ‘blowouts’ activated a legacy of struggle for educational justice by students in East Los Angeles public high schools that continues today.

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Critics See Wasted Time in Punishment of Tardy Students

October 5, 2002

Patricia Cavala's school day had gotten off to a sluggish start.
 
The 17-year-old said she had arrived just three minutes late at Roosevelt High School in
East Los Angeles after missing the bus one morning. She was sent to the "tardy room" for
the rest of the period, and instructed to write repeatedly: "I will not be late to school.... "

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Youth Unite for Educational Justice

July 21, 2002

Shades of Power

On Saturday, July 20, over 300 high school youth and organizers from northern and southern California met in Los Angeles to plan a major, new campaign for educational justice starting in the fall.

All through the 1990’s, as in the 1960’s, Californian youth of color and supporters protested racist educational policies. They demanded Ethnic Studies and even went on hunger strikes for them. They demanded more faculty and staff of color. Thousands of high school and often middle school students held walkouts for their demands. No statewide organization existed to coordinate those efforts, although various efforts were made to create one.

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Chicano Youth Face War in LA

April 28, 2002

It seems like every light pole on Whittier Boulevard in East Los Angeles is draped with the U.S. flag. Every 50 feet there is another.

Can this be the same boulevard that saw over 20,000 Chicanos march against the Vietnam War on Aug. 29, 1970, and popular Chicano reporter Rubén Salazar killed by police that day? Where thousands of students have fearlessly walked out of Eastside schools for three decades to demand educational equity and relevance?

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Youth Demand Education as a Human Right

June 1, 2001

As 150 youth, parents, and community members filled the Gilroy Unified School Board meeting-room, board members looked on in disbelief. The garlic capital of the world-Gilroy, California- was being faced with its own race and class realities. The majority Chicano/Mexicano farmworking community had come to demand better education for their children and that the charges be dropped against Rebecca Armendariz, an 18-year old youth.

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The New Youth Movement In California

April 7, 2001

Z Magazine

Last February, 42 mostly professional adults-lawyers, teachers, civil rights leaders, and older activists-were arrested for shutting down the Oakland jail to demonstrate against a vicious juvenile crime law. They did this out of a strong belief that it was time to show adult support for the many youth fighting that new injustice. In the days that followed, teenagers came up to me and said, "Thank you." No, I thought, I am thanking you. This article is about why.

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