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Bobby Lee Verdugo, leader of 1968 LA school walkout, dies

Bobby Lee Verdugo
Posted at 12:20 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 17:30:43-04

Bobby Lee Verdugo, one of the leaders of the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkout to protest discrimination and dropout rates among Mexican American students, has died. His daughter, Monica Verdugo, announced on Facebook that her father died peacefully Friday surrounded by his wife and his family.

He was 69. Born in East Los Angeles, Verdugo was a key figure in the 1968 student movement of Mexican Americans who faced physical punishment for speaking Spanish in class and discrimination from white administrators and teachers.

The beatings of high school students seeking fair treatment generated anger around the U.S. and encouraged Mexican American students in Texas and New Mexico to stage their own walkouts.