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Mapping the Struggle for Education on Equal Terms in LA UCLA/IDEA and YOC February 12, 2004.
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In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.
Brown v. Board of Education, May 17, 1954
One Hundred years before Chief Justice Warren declared that racial segregation in the public schools is a denial of the equal protection of the law, another chief justice declared [in Dred Scott] that Negroes had no rights which a White man must respect. Thus in a century this nation has taken might steps along Freedom Road and raise the hopes of mankind, black, yellow, and White. But we must go further and insist that great as is this victory, many and long steps along Freedom Road lie ahead . ---W.E.B. DuBois, 1954
California schools must be “open for the admission of all White children … the education of children of African descent, and Indian children, shall be provided for in separate schools.” -California education code, 1870
“though separated from the other, [students of different races should be] educated on equal terms with [each] other, and both at common public expense.”
--California Supreme Court, 1874
1875 SF School Board Votes to do away with separate schools for African Americans
“Every school … must be open for the admission of all children between six and twenty-one years of age residing in the district; … Trustees shall have the power to exclude children of filthy of vicious habits, or children suffering form contagious or infectious diseases.”
The governing body of the school district shall have power to exclude children of filthy or vicious habits, or children suffering from contagious or infectious diseases, and also to establish separate schools for Indian children and for children of Chinese, Japanese or Mongolian parentage.
Education Code 1662
1930: Texas Supreme Court declares children of Mexican descent to be members of the white race (in distinction to African American students who were legally segregated);
1930: California Attorney General declares Mexican American children like Indians, and hence subject to school segregation.
“The schools teach Mexicans to look upon farm labor as menial. It only makes them dissatisfied and teaches them to read the wrong kind of literature.”
Employer in Imperial Valley, 1930
"Guard well the doors of our public schools that they do not enter ... for we must "defend ourselves from this invasion of Mongolian barbarism."
SF Board of Supervisors, 1885
“Ninety-five percent of the so-called children are young men ... we object to an adult Japanese sitting beside a twelve-year-old school girl, and if this be prejudice, we are the most prejudiced people in the world."
SF Superintendent Roncovieri
Separate “Americanization school” is better suited to address the linguistic and cultural “deficiencies of the children of Mexican descent … avoiding the deterioration of American students.”
From School District’s Arguments in Lemon Grove, 1931
“They are primarily interested in action and emotion but grow listless under purely mental effort.”
---Grace Stanley (1920) on why Mexican American children are happier in segregated settings
“Our educational theory does not make any distinctions between Mexican Americans and native white population. However, pressure from white residents of certain sections forced a modification of this principle to the extent that certain neighborhoods have been placed to absorb the majority of Mexican pupils of the district.”
LAUSD School Official, 1933
Students elected a Japanese student body president and an African American female vice president
-----Los Angeles Supervisor, 1920s
-----Principal of ‘Mexican School’, 1920s
“We build on a biological foundation. We cannot make a black child white, a deaf child hear, a blind baby see, nor can we create a genius from a child whose ancestors endowed him with a defective brain. Within the limits of heredity, we can do much.”William Cooper, CA Supt of Public Instruction, 1927
“Students in the 7th grade of the Lincoln School [serving Mexican Americans] were superior scholarly to the same grade in the Roosevelt School [serving White students] and to any group of 7th graders in either of the schools in the past.”
Mendez v Westminster, 1946
“What would make you think that anyone who is sick in bed would want anyone as black as you to take care of them?”
---Response of Guidance Counselor at Belvedere Intermediate when Hope Mendoza Schechter asked to switch from home economics to academic track to pursue nursing.
African American Segregation