Compare And Contrast A Tale Of Two Schools

Decent Essays
From the 1860s forward, much focus was in the country was on people and their inherit rights under the United States constitution. However, even with all men being equal under the law in the 1940s, many were still segregated and racism was and still is very much alive. School districts had separate schools for whites and blacks and some systems even had separate schools for Mexican-Americans. Mendez v. Westminster was the first case in 1947 that overruled the segregation of schools due to race and language in the Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and El Modena school districts of Orange County. This case was a major positive stride in the desegregation in America at the time. During the case, segregation was proven to be against the 14th…show more content…
The Mexican school was a two room shack building; “a small frame building at the edge of a muddy cow pasture, the Hoover School stood in stark contrast to the sleek 17th Street School, with its handsome green lawns and playing fields” (“A Tale of Two Schools”). The differences were striking, but the obvious was that a better education was to be had at the Westminster school. Not only were the white students receiving better shelter and materials for learning, but students at the Hoover school were being taught industrial and domestic tasks versus things like geometry and biology (“A Tale of Two Schools”). “The boys studied gardening, boot‐making, blacksmithing, and carpentry, to prepare them for the low‐paying trades that the schools assumed would be the only ones such boys could or should enter. The girls studied sewing and homemaking” (Strum, 2014). Another horrifying thought was the way the staff at Hoover elementary treated the children as assumed “dirty” beings. “…Children whom the teachers considered to be dirty were required to take showers and, if necessary, borrow clean clothing from a cupboard kept” (Strum, 2014). Many people supported this idea about Mexican-American children because their parents were typically first or second generation Mexican-American’s who worked on the fields and were hired by white farm…show more content…
Things were said that were very traumatic to the Mendez and other families defending the honor of 5,000 Chicano students. The biggest argument from the lead prosecutor, Ogle during the trial was “the "Mexican schools" gave special instruction to students who didn't speak English and who were unfamiliar with American values and customs. Such "Americanization" programs benefited both Anglos and Mexicans” (“A Tale of Two Schools”). Kent, the superintendent for the district, stated that “…thinking in Spanish, they cannot compete with the other students and advance in the same grade at the same age” (Strum, 2014). During testimony it was also stated that Mexicans were like pigs who should be kept in pig pens and that they carried lice and many other diseases because they are so filthy. (“A Tale of Two Schools”). Kent also stated that Mexican’s grow faster physically, but that their brains were a year retarded and therefore segregation was completely legitimate (Strum, 2014). However, Sylvia and her two brothers took the stand during the trial and both spoke fluent English and presented themselves very well, basically destroying Ogle and Kent’s argument by sitting on the stand alone. Their testimony proved that they spoke well enough English to be in a non-segregated school and that they weren’t filthy creatures as Ken purposed. The children’s and many other’s testimony brought to light that their English skills were
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