Academic journal article Language Arts

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Academic journal article Language Arts

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Article excerpt

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh Abrams, 2014, 40 pp., ISBN 978-1-4197-1054-4

When Sylvia Mendez's family moved to Westminster, California, she experienced excitement as she noticed a school with a spacious playground, manicured lawn, and spotless hallways. When Sylvia and her brothers attempted to enroll in their neighborhood elementary school, multiple administrators required them to attend the "Mexican School." Sylvia was an American and her English skills were exemplary, but she was mandated to attend Hoover Elementary or "The Mexican School" that consisted of inequitable school grounds and educational opportunities. Mr. Mendez advocated for his children by establishing a parental group and creating a petition to establish high-quality educational experiences for all children regardless of ethnicity.

Mr. Mendez hired a lawyer named David Marcus to assist him in filing a lawsuit against Orange County. During the trial, Mr. Kent, superintendent of Orange County, admitted that children were sent to the school as a result of their inferior language skills, social behavior, personal hygiene, and scholastic ability. …

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