Tuesday, March 28, 2006

meanwhile, here in d/fw...

from WFAA, Dallas's abc affilliate:

"Leaders call on pupils to return to school"

"The walkouts have been very effective, but it's time for everyone to go back to school and start writing letters and making phone calls to your senator or congressman," said Domingo Garcia, a Dallas lawyer and current National Civil Rights Chairman for LULAC.

Garcia said a civil rights march will be held in Dallas on April 9, and encouraged students and others who felt strongly about the issue to plan on taking part in that event rather than missing additional classes.

"Tomorrow, it is very possible that students will begin to be arrested for truancy," said Dallas County Community College trustee Diana Flores. "We want everyone to be heard, but there is a time and a place to do it."

Students from Irving ISD streamed from DART trains at about 10:30 Tuesday morning and marched up Young Street toward City Hall, whooping and hollering, some waving the Mexican flag. Students from Fort Worth and Grand Prairie also walked out of class in protest.

The reflecting pond in front of City Hall became a swimming pool for dozens of young people as the protest continued. At least two students were injured in the water and were taken to hospitals for treatment.

At one point, about 100 students surged into City Hall and got as far as the fifth floor before being escorted back outside by security officers. For the most part, the protest—involving an estimated 2,500 young people at its peak—was peaceful.

Kerry Vargas, 14, from The Academy at Irving ISD, and Sean Wilder, 17, from MacArthur High School were waving a flag from Costa Rica, where their families came from. "I have people in my family who are here illegally," Sean said. "I don't want to see them put away in jail."

Kerry said some kids were going through school, saying "Latinos, stand up," prompting them to leave class. "My family came here and worked really hard," Kerry said. "America isn't just one race. They shouldn't do this to us because we are a large part of the economy." She said she knew a lot of kids were running around not sure what they were protesting.

wfaa links to the video of the students at city hall, here.

an addendum: channel 4 or 5(I forget) said that they would ONLY accept students returning if they came with one of their parents! Are they actually trying to antagonize the students, and maybe even their parents too, by inconveniencing them? The students who are protesting are primarily from working-class and minority rich areas like Grand Prairie and Oak Cliff and downtown, like Skyline.