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little reason for their younger sisters and brothers to be thinking any differently in with their “future”, these stubborn, defensive South Side girls. Why should they be? They had on their block-heeled shoes; a transistor radio was pressed against their ear; their hair was hanging long and tilack and loose past their shoulders. Their skirts brief triangles and handkerchiefs of color revealed a long, mod stretch of legs halfway up the body. They were like aliens in a hostile territory, not bothering to care about Austin’s Most Beautiful Girl \(it certainly or the Select Scholar’s list or the “Let’s Really Yell it Now, Y’All” that the blonde cheerleader was getting red in the face about down on the gym floor. And they didn’t care when they were warned during the morning p.a. announcements that they would “seriously jeopardize future freshman assemblies unless their conduct was more in line with that Austin expected of its student body”. They weren’t interested in what Austin expected of them any more than they were interested in diagramming or reading The Odyssey. They were ‘simply prisoners being held in an Anglo jail and they would continue to stare out sullenly through their granny glasses until the sentence was lifted. IT HAS LONG been the custom of school boards to select principals and other administrators from the ranks of coaches. It is not unusual, therefore, that the principal of Austin High is a former football coach; that the coordinator of instruction and guidance presumed by many to be the successor to the principal when he retires is an ex-coach also; and that the counselor most influential with the Austin administration is a former basketball coach. \(Indeed, Austin is such a sports-and-coach oriented school that teachers in the good graces of the administrators are likely to be addressed by them as “coach”. Thus the most unathletic math or government teacher finds himself being called “coach” as he requests an overhead projector or discusses a class load, for coach is the official password, the casual sign of camaraderie, the measuring It is safe to say that the principal and coordinator love Austin High School that they consider it to be at the core of their life’s work. It is also safe to say that both are sincere, intelligent men who are doing their jobs as they see them and who want perhaps more than anything else to keep Austin’s image as a Good School from being damaged. But sincerity, intelligence, and love-of-school certainly adequate equipment for administrators during the less complex era of the ’40s are not enough to cope with the unsettling seventies. What is also needed are a high degree of flexibility in responding to potentially explosive situations which did not exist 30 years ago; a willingness to understand and trust student leaders who ask for change; and perhaps more than anything else, empathy with persons of minority groups especially, in El Paso, Mexican-Americans. High school administrations are generally conservative by nature; Austin’s administration is perhaps more conservative than most. It thus views hippies, Reies Tijerina, Cesar Chavez, black militants, anti-war demonstrators, college long hairs, etc. with a wholly unfriendly eye. The faculty, however, shares in large part this same conservative view. \(Austin’s Teacher of the Year for 1969-70 selected by Austin teachers had a sticker on his car reading “Register Communists, Not conservatism is directly related to age is conjectural, but the fact that out of a staff of over 100 probably less than half are under the age of 40 does suggest that the majority of the faculty is far from being attuned to the strident harmonies of today especially those voiced with a Spanish accent. During the past year there was mild racial tension mainly in September when a chicano walkout was threatened and Mexican and Anglo groups fought several afternoons after school; there was an awareness that the “melting pot” togetherness which Austin had begun priding itself on during the last few years had gradually begun to disappear; there was a feeling among many of the Mexican-American students not just the reluctant freshmen that they were the Unseen and Ignored Majority as far as honors, offices, awards, etc. were concerned. There was also a grim little war concerning censorship of the student newspaper, the Pioneer. I. AT THE BEGINNING of the year an administrative staff member had been assigned the extra duty of censoring the Pioneer. \(Such censorship by an administrator rather than the journalism the administrator censored a letter-to-the-editor by junior journalism student Cecilia Rodriguez. The letter which dealt honestly with Mexican-American experiences and attitudes in typical school situations, was subsequently printed in the UT-El Paso college newspaper, the Prospector. In April, a group on the Pioneer staff wanted to devote an entire issue to the concerns, problems, and culture of Mexican-American high school students. After much discussion in which a few of the more secure Mexican-American students themselves balked at being singled out for special attention \(“We’re all that a single page of Mexican-American features would be run. When copy was submitted to the administrator, he cut the four lead articles: “Brown Misery”; “La Huelga”, an article about Cesar Chavez and the California farm workers’ grape strike; an article on the origin and significance of the term chicano; and “the Race United”, an article on the newly formed political party in Texas for Mexican-Americans. It was a typical student-administration conflict. The administrator, in keeping out of the Pioneer what he considered to be extremist or inappropriate material, felt, one can be sure, that he was fulfilling his role as censor and was doing what was best for Austin High. What he did also, of course, was frustrate once again the efforts of some of the most creative, conscientious, and morally sensitive students at Austin both Anglo and Mexican-American. \(“Change this school?” said one depressed` student afterward. “Never. You see hoW much trouble we had getting just one lousy, watered-down page in the Pioneer.” Another student added: “They say their doors are always open yet every time you go to see them their minds are always closed. You can just see No staring at you before you even open Thus the staff member added another footnote to an already familiar tale: high school administrators ironically helping to create the very college radicals whom they dislike, as well as stimulating the possibilities for an underground press. For the students finally end up believing what they really, at first, do not want to believe: that the administration doesn’t realize care to understand what they are trying to say, doesn’t realize that times have drastically changed, doesn’t care about the quality of people’s lives if those lives are led by blacks or browns; doesn’t care to admit to the reality of a world which exists right outside the classroom doors in the streets, on the television sets, in the books available at every drugstore. Such students who try to express their idealism, and fail, simply resign themselves rather bitterly to their high school fate and wait for college when they feel they can get rid of all their pent-up frustrations in orgies of action. Thus, at a crucial moment in its history, Austin seems to be maintaining a steady course of drift. Apparently, the official policy is: Business as usual. Don’t rock the boat if you want to be considered a good fellow. And don’t stir up any trouble about problems which you feel are mounting wait and see if they don’t go away as they always have in the past. June 12, 1970 3