Monday, March 31, 2008

Cesar Chavez Day

Here in California, the birthday of United Farmworkers Union founder Cesar Chavez is a state holiday. Our school district was in session, though, as was the Sac City District, from which these students walked out of class.

Some students made their way to Cesar Chavez Plaza in downtown Sacramento, where police were waiting to cite them. Some of the students were taken to a truancy center.

Chavez' grandson encouraged the students to stay in school:

However, Chavez's grandson, Anthony Chavez, said students should spend the day in class talking about history of labor and sharing that information with others.

My guess is that most of these students can't tell you anything that Chavez did or anything he stood for--such as the fact that he didn't approve of illegal immigration, correctly determining that it would undercut wages for legal farmworkers. My guess is that some, perhaps many, of these students walked out of class today because they had what they considered a good excuse.

If they value their education so little, the only jobs they'll eventually be capable of performing will be--well, you get the idea.

There's certainly nothing wrong with hard, honest work, but it would be nice if these students weren't forced into manual labor because it was the only option available to them.


Ellen K said...

That's pretty much what we experienced locally during the last publicized protest in the DFW area. Half the kids were just looking for a legal way to skip. What was sad/funny was that one group of kid started walking to the local city hall for a gathering, overshot it by missing the many and varied signs and ended up in the Target parking lot where they got sited for truancy. The city hall is on the same street as their school. They walked right by it. But they were totally out of the loop. And this is why I doubt the sincerity of many of these newly minted grassroots activists.

Anonymous said...


When we were both in high school it was common in Grace King HS that the air conditioner system would be inop for the first week or so. During my sophomore year after the first three days some students walked out because it was so hot and they each got a three day suspension.

I heard that two years before this incident the AC was dead and 400 students walked out…and they all got a three day suspension. I was speaking to the principal Mrs. Rivette and asked her about this and she said “Yes, I suspended them…you don’t walk out of school like that.” I was amazed she signed 400 suspension documents one sitting but they took care of business.

Tell me will the school district do something like suspend the students that walked out…or am I giving you a good laugh! 


Darren said...

They probably won't be suspended.

Anonymous said...

Old Cesar was not my favorite person.

Darren said...

Just so everyone knows, Ken S's post is full of foul language.

You have been warned.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Darren. I should have warned you up front.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I bleeped it a bit on the chance that anyone comes over. It was a bit more than even I expected on rereading :)