For Lincoln High student Paula Crisostomo and her peers, the walkouts brought national attention amidst a tumultuous spring semester. On March 10th, they met with presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy where he pledged his support for their cause. Parents formed the Educational Issues Community  Coalition (EICC) to advocate for the children and demanded the firing of Richard Davis, a Lincoln High School teacher who published a racist essay in the school’s faculty publication.
Meanwhile, the Vietnam War raged on and the nation prepared for the 1968 presidential election, in which the sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson announced shockingly that he would not seek a second term. The future of the nation seemed unclear. A few days later, on April 4th, civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
On the night of Paula’s prom, 13 leaders of the Walkouts were arrested including her favorite teacher, Sal Castro, and they became known as the “East LA 13”. Then, on June 5th, Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles. Paula spent the next day, her birthday, with Sal Castro and his wife reflecting on the importance of Robert Kennedy’s support for their cause. Only one week later, Paula graduated from Lincoln High School, where she delivered a speech entitled, “A Dream Deferred.”
Hover over to see Spanish version.
Calling for change was hard. Especially when LAPD and the FBI are inciting violence and ordering constant surveillance. This subjected many students and advocates to dangerous situations. Click below to learn more.

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