11 2750 1913 Thus the impact of Jenckss ruling was limited While Romos children

11 2750 1913 thus the impact of jenckss ruling was

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§ 11-2750, 1913). Thus, the impact of Jencks’s ruling was limited. While Romo’s children were allowed to attend the Tenth Street School, the Eighth Street School exclusively served Mexican American children long after Jenckes’ decision. In interviews from the Barrios Oral History Project, Josie Ortega Sanchez and Ray M. Chavarria (born 1925 and 1927, respectively) reported that only Mexican students attended the Eighth Street School in Tempe, although Ortega Sanchez was allowed to transfer to the Tenth Street School at her request (Chavarria, 1993; J. O. Sanchez, 1992). According to Chavarria, the Eighth Street School was a training school for new teachers and the books were castoffs from the Tenth Street School. Likewise, in her master’s thesis, Bell (1940) noted that all of the students attending the Eight Street School were Mexican and that the school was staffed by Arizona State Teachers College student teachers under the direction of critic teachers. Gonzales v. Sheely In May 1950, Porfirio Gonzalez and Faustino Curiel, the representatives of a committee of concerned parents, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of their children and “some three hundred other persons of Mexican and Latin descent or extraction, all citizens of the United States of America, residing within said school district” in the U.S. District Court of Arizona against the trustees of the Tolleson School District and Kenneth Dyer, the district superintendent (Estrada, 1950, p. 6). The lawsuit challenged the segregation of Mexican American students in the first through seventh grades. In Tolleson School District No 17, Unit No. 2 was the “Mexican” Downloaded By: [EBSCOHost EJS Content Distribution - Current] At: 19:40 19 December 2010
MEXICAN AMERICAN SCHOOL SEGREGATION IN ARIZONA 473 school. As in Tempe decades earlier, prior to the construction of Unit No. 2 in the mid-1940s, Unit No. 1 School had been attended by both white and Mexican American students, although within the school children were sorted into segregated Anglo and “Mexican” classrooms. At the time of the hearing, 479 students attended Unit No. 1; of these 28 were Mexican American students. Eighteen of the latter were in the eighth grade, which was not formally segregated. Three hundred and sixty students, all Mexican American, were placed in Unit No. 2. Gonzales and Curiel’s lawsuit was the culmination of months of effort and frustration; parents and other community members had repeatedly requested that Dyer end the district’s segregation policy. They also wrote to Senator Carl Hayden in February of 1950. Hayden’s letter politely but firmly informed the group that the federal government had no authority to intervene (Hayden, 1950). The lawyer for the lead plaintiff, Portfirio Gonzales, was A. L. Wirin, a civil rights attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. Ralph Estrada and Greg Garcia represented Faustino Curiel.

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