Lupe Mendez discovered an integral part of Houston’s past through a seventh-grade student’s story fair project. The subject was the ‘huelga’ schools of the 1970s, when Mexican Americans were fed up with Houston’s desegregation plan ISD chose to teach their children at home instead of taking them by bus through town to black schools, where they would be legally considered “white”.
Mendez was not alone. Little has been written about Huelga schools. “Brown, Not White,” by Professor Guadalupe San Miguel at the University of Houston, was published in 2001. A dozen years later, an elementary school project by a student at Pin Oak Middle School, Jacob Tate, shares part of the history of “strike schools”.