The Death of Anthony Soltero
Revolution #043, April 16, 2006, posted at revcom.us
Anthony Soltero, a 14-year-old student, shot himself through the head on March 30 after a school administrator told him that he was going to prison for three years and his mother would be fined for his truancy because he was an organizer of the student walkouts against HR4437 at De Anza Middle School in Ontario, California. According to a press release from Anthony’s family, the vice principal told the eighth grade student that he was forbidden from attending graduation activities as punishment for walking out of school and protesting.
Anthony’s mother, Louise Corales, said, “Anthony was learning about the importance of civic duties and rights in his eighth grade class. Ironically, he died because the vice principal at his school threatened him for speaking out and exercising those rights.”
“I want to speak out to other parents whose children are attending the continuing protests this week. We have to let the schools know that they can’t punish our children for exercising their rights.”
What kind of a system do we live in, when the people who are supposed to care for and nurture the critical thinking of young people in schools threaten an eighth grader with prison, fines, and punishment for protesting? What kind of a system do we live in when students have been locked down in their schools, pepper-sprayed, beat with batons, arrested, harassed, and threatened and—in Anthony’s case—led to commit suicide for demanding that immigrant people be treated like human beings?!
This is a product of an imperialist system… and the world doesn't have to be this way!