Teenager says any repercussions of the walkout will be worth it
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Quintero has watched the debate over immigration reform swell over the past few weeks. He and his mother, Margie Quintero, feel Hispanics are being singled out in this debate.
Margie Quintero, who was born in the Rio Grande Valley, sees a bleak future where “I’m going to have to show my I.D. to prove my nationality, and I don’t feel I should have to do it.”
Sunday night was a tipping point — a moment when Jesse Quintero decided he had to make his voice heard after watching others do so on television news reports. Together with his peers, he organized a school walkout. He and a few friends started by reaching their friends, mainly through the Internet and cell phones.
Over the Internet, he contacted friends using the social Web site MySpace. Using his cell phone, he sent bulletins, emails or text messages.
Word spread quickly, and by Monday morning the plan was set to go — and 150 nervous high school students walked out to march for immigrants rights. For many, it was their first strides of political activism.
Hours after the event, Quintero was still feeling the exhilaration of marching.
As he and about 150 other students marched toward an immigration office nine miles away on Monday, a passer-by in an automobile yelled out to the group, “Go back to where you came from,” Quintero said. He retorted by saying Hispanics “were here first.”
Throughout the evening Monday, Quintero’s phone was ringing and text messages rolled in constantly.
One text message swirling Monday evening among high schoolers was: “WuAll highskoo latinos students r being asked 2 wear a white tee 2marrow n any flag dat represent latinos! represent n stand up 4 wat u believe in … pass it on.”