Monday, April 17, 2006

The death of Anthony Soltero

This press release came out last week on the death of Anthony Soltero. I just tracked down a photo of him from the march in L.A. last week. This is so terribly sad and tragic. -Angela

Sunday, April 9, 2006
12:00 p.m.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
710 S. Sultana Ave., Ontario, CA 91761
Louise Corales, whose 14 year-old son, Anthony
Soltero, died on April 1 after committing suicide,
will speak to the community and ask for a prayer for
her son this Sunday, following the 11:00 a.m. mass at
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Ontario, California.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself through
the head on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant
principal at De Anza Middle School told him that he
was going to prison for three years because of his
involvement as an organizer of the April 28 school
walk-outs to protest the anti-immigrant legislation in
Washington. The vice principal also forbade Anthony
from attending graduation activities and threatened to
fine his mother for Anthony's truancy and
participation in the student protests.

"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," Ms. Corales said today.

"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."

Anthony's death is likely the first fatality arising
from the protests against the immigration legislation
being considered in Washington, D.C. Anthony, who was
a very good student at De Anza Middle School in the
Ontario-Montclair School District, believed in justice
and was passionate about the immigration issue.

He is survived by his mother, Louise Corales, his father, a
younger sister, and a baby brother. Ms. Corales will speak to the

community after mass on Sunday, April 9, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. at Our Lady of
Guadalupe Church. She will ask for a prayer for
Anthony, whose funeral and burial are scheduled for
Monday, April 10 in Long Beach, where he was born.

(310) 410-2981
(310) 989-6815

1 comment:

  1. I think that Anthony's death is a good example of how students are too often discouraged from speaking up. Students should be encouraged to speak their minds and form their own opinions. Anthony’s courageous leadership as an organizer should thus have been encouraged, not suppressed. In other words, “thinking outside of the box” and having different ideas should be praised. Furthermore, students should be encouraged to pursue ideas that interest them. For example, the vice principal could have encouraged Anthony to read more about civil rights, perhaps by directing him to the pertinent section in the library. Instead, the vice principal essentially directed Anthony to his death.
    Now Anthony’s memory serves as inspiration for those of us who are left to march on peacefully in pursue of civil rights for immigrants. May God comfort the Soltero family in every way.
    “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.” –Cesar Chavez