First death from immigrant rights student walkout

Student kills self after principal says he’ll go to prison for protest.

Eighth grader Anthony Soltero shot himself through the head on Thursday, March 30, after the assistant principal at De Anza Middle School [in Ontario, California] 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 Anthonys truancy and participation in the student protests.

According to the National Lawyers Guild on their SchoolWalkouts.Info site, “No discipline if all you did was walk out, speak out, or protest” as per Education Code Section 48950. In other words, what the principal said was utterly, totally, completely false.

From la.indymedia, audio interview with the lawyer for the family, who agrees with the NLG. He says multiple other students were also theatened by the vice principal, last name Bennett.

There is reason to believe that the school administrators over stepped their bounds and possibly may have violated the law in telling Anthony that he could be facing prison for participating in the student walkouts. The family’s attorney, Samuel Paz, stated that he believes under California law the students rights to free speech protects them from any disciplinary action by the school. It is believed that the school administrators lied to Anthony about him going to prison. And that this is the primary cause of his decision to take his own life.

The vice principal needs to be arrested for something. After he’s fired. And before the lawsuit that bankrupts him.

Protests at his home and at the school demanding he be fired would be a good first step.

[tags]Anthony Soltero[/tags]

  • Jake

    I think you linked to the wrong myspace page.

  • Bob

    Yikes, sure did. Deleted.

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  • wow. i used to go to de anza middle school in ontario. i had no idea about this senseless suicide. i am also a member of the national lawyers guild, and would urge anyone interested to sign-up as a legal observer to help protect the right of protestors.


  • Bob

    The NLG does amazing work, both at demos and the little noticed but crucial work of negotiating permits, etc.

  • Clay

    This is a tragedy, but the blame assigned is too remote. The first question I would ask (the parents) is how did this child get his hands on a rifle? He is casualty of poor parenting.

  • Bob

    The precipitating event was what the vice principal said. On news report said the father could be arrested for having a rifle that was not locked up.

  • Juan Z

    Didn’t you guys read he wasn’t even there?

    There’s not even a witness – like a half-witness, said he was alone w/ Anthony when they approached by got scared off by a cop car and they two of them left, he couldn’t say anything about where, when, what happenedd. Nothing. His suicide note didn’t say anything about immigrant rights or protests, just one sentence about how “F . ..” Mr. Bennett. Good grades. New girlfriend. None of his teachers new he had anything to to do wi th e protests until after the suicide. You think he killed himself about something w/out even telling his best buddies he cared about it? Not even in a suicide note?

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