Student Demands: from 1968 Blowouts, East Los Angeles

For the 50th anniversary of the 1968 East Los Angeles Blowouts, the Student Demands are reprinted for information and discussion – A.M.


BLOW OUTS were staged by us, Chicano students, in the East Los Angeles High Schools protesting the obvious lack of action on the part of the LA School Board in bringing ELA schools up to par with those in other areas of the city. We, young Chicanos, not only protested but at the same time offered proposals for much needed reforms. Just what did we propose?

To begin with, we want assurance that any student or teacher who took part in the BLOW OUTS – WILL NOT be reprimanded or suspended in any manner. You know the right to protest and demonstrate against injustice is guaranteed to all by the constitution.

We want immediate steps taken to implement bi-lingual and bi-cultural education for Chicanos WE WANT TO BRING OUR CARNALES HOME. Teachers, administrators, and staff should be educated; they should know our language (Spanish), and understand the history, traditions and contributions of the Mexican culture. HOW CAN THEY EXPECT TO TEACH US IF THEY DO NOT KNOW US? We also want the school books revised to reflect the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans to the U.S. society, and to make us aware of the injustices that we, Chicanos, as a people have suffered in a “gabacho’ dominated society. Furthermore, we want any member of the school system who displays prejudice or fails to recognize, understand, and appreciate us, our culture, or our heritage be removed from ELA schools

Classes should be smaller in size, say about 20 student to 1 teacher, to insure more effectiveness. We want new teachers and administrators to live in the community their first year and that parents from the community by trained as teacher’s aides. We want assurances, that a teacher who may disagree politically or philosophically with administrators will not be dismissed or transferred because of it. The school belongs to the community and as such should be made available for community activities under supervision of Parents’ Councils.

There should be a manager in charge of janitorial work and maintenance details and the performance of such duties should be restricted to employees hired for that purpose. IN OTHER WORDS NO MORE STUDENTS DOING JANITORIAL WORK.

And more than this, we want RIGHTS – RIGHTS – STUDENT RIGHTS – OUR RIGHTS. We want a free speech area plus the right to have speakers of our own choice at our club meetings. Being civic minded citizens we want to know what the happenings are in our community so we demand the right to have access to all types of literature and to be able to bring it on campus.

The type of dress that we wear should not be dictated to us by “gabachos,” but it should be a group of Chicano parents and students who establish dress and grooming standards for Chicano students in Chicano schools.

Getting down to facilities. WE WANT THE BUILDINGS OPEN TO STUDENTS AT ALL TIMES, especially the HEADS. Yeah, we want access to the Heads at all times…… When you get right down to it, WE ONLY DEMAND WHAT OTHERS HAVE. Things like lighting at all ELA football fields, swimming pools. Sport events are an important part of school activity and we want FREE ADMISSION for all students. We, CHICANO STUDENTS, BLEW OUT in protest. Our proposals have been made. The big question is will the School Board take positive action. If so, WHEN?


{From Chicano Student News [East Los Angeles], 15 (March, 1968), 3.} Reprinted from: Hendrick, Irving G. and Reginald L. Jones. Student Dissent In The Schools (1970). p. 68


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7 Responses to Student Demands: from 1968 Blowouts, East Los Angeles

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