More than 250 teens hold peaceful immigration rally
March 31, 2006
In a protest that could be the largest this town has ever seen, more than 250 Latino teenagers from South Tahoe High School and South Tahoe Middle School marched along Highway 50 this morning in support of immigrants.
They waved large American and Mexican flags and chanted “Sise Puede” or “Yes, we can” while marching from the “Y” to Tacqueria Jalisco across from Tahoe Daily Tribune offices.
The students held signs that said “We have a dream” and “Liberty and justice for all.” They wore all white, which stood for peace, organizers said.
Young immigrants have come out in force throughout the country to protest proposed immigration laws now before Congress.
Latino teenagers have been especially passionate because of their special situation: a minor cannot apply for citizenship. Their parents, who are often illegal, must apply for them and are often too intimidated to do so.
A police car followed the demostrators the entire way.
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“They were surprisingly well-mannered and did a good job of policing themselves,” said Scott Willson, school resource officer for South Lake Tahoe Police Department. “I didn’t expect them to be so well organized.”
About 400 Latino students attend the high school.
The middle school’s principal Jackie Nelson said 100 students signed out with parental permission slips, while the high school’s principal Marcia Kaster said they had a stack of at least 150 permission slips.
Since the students went to school and signed in for the day, the schools did not lose money for the absences.