Cesar Chavez

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"Teaching about Chavez"

Teaching about Chavez

As a former Nebraska field worker, I remember teaching a little bit about the life of Cesar Chavez in Filer, Idaho, back in the 1980’s.  We were fighting to get the day off of school to recognize the man’s birthday, and only Idaho and Arizona were holding out.  Sound familiar?  It should.

A teaching colleague and I had kids insert messages of peace into balloons.  We then filled those balloons with helium and gave them out the day of what would have been his birthday in the hallway.  The entire high school was there to see the balloons go up into the sky that bright blue day in Filer.  It was a memorable day, a good day.

The only teacher who opposed us turned out to be (of all things) our music teacher, Ron Jenkins.  It also turned out that he was a goddamned pedophile and Mormon “bishop”.  He attacked something like three dozen of my male students, including his own sons.  I think back to those troubled times, and I wonder how in the hell I even got through it, but I did.  Jenkins ended up getting convicted of his attacks and is now serving time in a Texas prison and probably not celebrating CC’s birthday. Just a guess, however.