May 16, 2023 - Education

Remembering Edgewood's walkout history 55 years later

Richard Herrera holds open a 1960s yearbook showing a full spread photo of the Edgewood High School parking lot.

Richard Herrera displays his collection of newspaper clippings and other mementos of the 1968 walkouts. Photo: Madalyn Mendoza/Axios

Fifty-five years ago, West Side teens walked out against education inequities in San Antonio.

Context: Students at Edgewood High School, which served a predominantly Latino community, staged a walkout on May 16, 1968.

  • The teens left their classrooms and marched to the district's administration office with their grievances, which included a lack of certified teachers, college-ready curriculum and outdated facilities and materials.
  • Richard Herrera (seen above) was 16 when he walked out. He and his wife Diana, who was also an Edgewood student, have continued to advocate for the West Side and for education.

The big picture: Walkouts across the country in 1968 are etched in Chicano history and were a precursor to the fight for education equity.

  • Later that year, Demetrio Rodríguez and seven other Edgewood parents filed Rodríguez vs. San Antonio ISD, which would become a landmark Supreme Court case.

What they're saying: Edgewood superintendent Eduardo Hernández tells Axios that he's proud of the changes that the walkouts helped bring about.

  • "We know there is still a long way to go, but we are committed to learning, growing and making changes along the way to make sure every child gets a quality education and is prepared to be successful in life," he says.
  • Manuel Garza, who was 17 when he walked out, says he wants more people to know the history.
  • "More of the story needs to be told to everybody, including in our schools. People need to become more familiar with the actual impact that it had," he says.
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