California’s History of Segregated Education

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) was one of the courts’ rulings, which permitted legal segregation for approximately 60 years. Some people were against, any form of, segregation. For instance, Gonzalo Mendez and other Latino parents filed a case (in 1945) to end segregations, in California’ public schools. The case filed was known as Mendez v. Westminster (1946). They argued that it was wrong to separate students into different schools, simply because they were of different races (Latino or Mexican). The judgement, on this case, was in favour of Mendez: even though the schools’ lawyers argued that the students were segregated because they spoke a foreign language. The court ruled that according to the 14th Amendment, all students had the right to access equal education. Following this ruling, it was unconstitutional to segregate students, on the basis of their national originality. Mendez case, however, was never appealed to the United State Supreme Court. The Brown v. the Education (1954), case also aimed at ending segregations, in California. It ruled that education was to be given to all, on equal terms. The ruling on the Brown case, however, faced some challenges. For instance, the Southern states defied the ruling, while some White Community prevented the NAACP from enrolling Africa-America students, in Central High School (Caplow 305). These three cases were related in that the Mendez case laid the foundation of the Brown case, while the Brown case brought about the reversal of the Plessy (1896) case, in 1954. Both the Mendez and Brown cases also DEJURE segregations of public schools (Ritzer 180). Segregations between the Latino and Mexican America resulted to poor Mexican schools. There were less-experienced teachers, in the Mexican schools than in the Anglo schools. The Mexican students were given less educational materials than the Anglo students (Ritzer 234). In fact, the Mexican students were taught in crowded classrooms, while the Anglo students were taught in spacious classrooms. The segregation was also evident in their curriculum, which was carried out, in the Anglo, and Mexican schools. The Anglo students were taught geometry and biology, while the Mexican students were taught industrial skills and domestic chores (Dundjerski 352). In addition, most of the Anglo teachers discouraged the Mexican students from advancing beyond the eighth grade. Indeed, the Mexican curriculum was of low quality such that the students could not get, any prominent job, after they were through with their classes. The education, which the Mexican got, would only get them cheap jobs in the prospering agriculture communities of California. This segregation, therefore, could not allow the Mexican students to get advanced education. if they got advanced education, then they would not accept farm labor. Segregation between Latino and Mexican America resulted into the discrimination of Mexicans. Mexicans were not allowed in most of the parks, dance halls, eateries, hotels, stores, and barbershops. They also had less access to public swimming pool. they were only allowed to swim for one day, weekly (Dundjerski 203). In addition, the swimming pool was cleaned and drained, immediately after the Mexican-America had swum. The Mexican Americas were, also, not spared in the restaurants. they were only served after all the white customers had been served. Today segregation is still evident, in some parts of California. For instances, those schools that are located in