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Crystal City A guiding light of the latest Crystal City insurgency is Jose Angel Gutierrez, 25, the founder a few years ago of the Mexican-American Youth Organization, MAYO, which has made its existence felt Reed Harp MA YO’s Gutierrez boy and girl includes all areas, the high school faculty will select these students using all available records.” The first point was a victory for the protesting students. Number two was, in their eyes, a slight improvement, since outside judges would choose cheerleaders and twirlers \(but the protesters would prefer student elections for cheerleaders and elections of twirlers by members of the unsatisfactory to the protestors. When school began this fall the Ex-Students’ Association began distributing nomination forms for homecoming queen to girls who had at least one parent who had graduated from the high school. A student, Miss Lara, published a leaflet protesting this procedure and was suspended from school for three days for so doing. Many students came to school in that period wearing brown armbands in protest of the suspension. At least partly on the intervention of a San Antonio attorney, Gerald Lopez, of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, Miss Lara was permitted to return to school after two days’ suspension. On Nov. 10 the Mexican-American students presented another list of grievances, this time to the school board, which, after permitting lengthy speeches, took the list under advisement. On Dec. 8 many of the students and some of their parents attended the board meeting to see what disposition of the complaints would be made. A motion was passed, by a 3-1 vote \(with three members petition no instances of discrimination was [sic] found, and as many of these matters are administrative, the board would take no action.” THE NEXT day the student walkout began, affecting the high and junior high schools. The day after that some 700 persons marched in support of the students’ demands. About 50 of the marchers were adults. Among those in the streets were Stephen E. King and Lopez of the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund \(Obs., walkout include Armando Trevino, a Crystal City High School graduate who now attends Southwest Texas Junior College at Uvalde, and Miss Lara, who is 17. On Dec. 15, the walkout spread to the elementary grades. Three of the students Miss Lara, Mario Trevino, and Diana Serna were flown to Washington, D.C., one day last week, to visit Sen. Ralph Yarborough, Sen. Edward Kennedy: and Houston Cong. George Bush. Evidently Senator Yarborough paid the students’ plane fares. He also arranged their visits with Kennedy and other 6 The Texas Observer congressional and government leaders. A Yarborough aide in Washington reports that the students made an excellent impression in the capital, getting their message across in an impressively businesslike manner. The next day investigators of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare were in Crystal City to determine the basis for the allegations of civil rights discrimination there. In jeopardy is the substantial amount of federal aid the school district receives, amounting this year to $328,730. G.O. increasingly in Texas. Gutierrez is quick to point out that the current effort in Crystal City is not a MAYO undertaking; it originated with the local people students and their parents and not from any MAYO organizing effort. Nonetheless, MAYO is here to do what it can to help the walkout and its related activities. Gutierrez is a native of Crystal City who graduated from the high school here in 1962, less than a year before the local “revolution by ballot box” in the municipal elections. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in government and history from Texas A&I in 1966, received a master’s degree in government from St. Mary’s University at San Antonio and has done work towards a doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He has in recent months lived in Crystal City, and when the school walkout began he naturally was drawn to the strikers’ side. Gutierrez sought unsuccessfully on relocating here to become an official of the Teamsters union, which was instrumental in the 1963 ballot box revolt. He is said to be considering a race for county commissioner and is thought by some persons here and elsewhere to be the real inspiration for the students’ activism. Gutierrez and his wife, Luz, live in the Mexico-Grande section of Crystal City in an old business building converted into a home. The front part of the building is a library, reception room, and office. It is the unofficial headquarters of the walkout. When the Observer interviewer called, several chicano youths were standing by in modified army-drab field jackets. Gutierrez was very pleasant and receptive; while we talked for an hour and a half, his wife was in an adjoining room with several chicano girls from the Lower Valley, carrying on a lively discussion about the brown movement. Gutierrez said that at the present rate of educational progress, the average Mexican-American in Zavala County could expect to graduate from junior high school about the year 2050. He explained that the present level of progress for Mexican-American students is to advance about one-half a grade level each ten years. There is a severe dropout problem here, as in many South Texas school districts; Gutierrez counters that the term should be “pushout.” According to a survey conducted last spring 71% of local Mexican-American students drop out of Interview with Gutierrez -41 14o: ?yAt itc 0.04,.., tf-: ‘”J.PW”.