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Fifty years ago, Mexican American students in East L.A. high schools walked out of class and launched a historic movement protesting substandard conditions in their schools.

Garfield High School, where the walkouts began March 5, 1968, commemorated that movement Thursday by ceding the stage to its current students. One group performed a musical history of the so-called blowouts: “We’ve got to walk out, walk out for justice. We’ve got to walk out, walk out for brown rights.” A young man recited a poem he had written about what it means to be Chicano in East L.A. today.

In 1968, students were trying to call attention to a host of problems in their schools, including massive class sizes, racist teachers and the use of corporal punishment, said Yoli Rios, who walked out of Lincoln High School half a century ago. She told hundreds of Garfield students gathered for a special assembly that her math teacher would put an assignment on the board, then pull out a putter and and practice his golf.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has blocked the release of a video that shows him being heckled at UCLA, causing the initially little-noticed incident to go viral.

Mnuchin was being interviewed by Kai Ryssdal, host of the public radio show “Marketplace,” which focuses on news about business and the economy. About 400 people attended the free event Monday at the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Korn Convocation Hall, said Peggy McInerny, a university spokeswoman.

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The University of California has slipped in the rankings of an annual global survey of higher education, escalating concerns that funding woes and growing international competition are beginning to erode the quality of the nation’s top public research university.

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Members of the Brown Berets, left, listen to a speaker on June 9, 1968.
Members of the Brown Berets, left, listen to a speaker on June 9, 1968. (Herald-Examiner Collection / Los Angeles Public Library)

In and around Los Angeles:

The school walkouts 50 years ago, now being commemorated, were the first act of mass militancy by Mexican Americans in modern California history.

New York City reportedly selected Miami-Dade schools leader Alberto Carvalho as its new schools chancellor — pulling him out of the pool of potential candidates for L.A. Unified superintendent job.

Jesse Randall Davidson wasn’t a stranger, some mysterious threat from the outside. He was a bearded, bespectacled, 53-year-old social studies teacher and the play-by-play announcer for the football games at Dalton High School in northwest Georgia.

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David Sanchez, second from left, founder of the Brown Berets, in 1968.
David Sanchez, second from left, founder of the Brown Berets, in 1968. (Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

Teachers at Garfield High School were winding down classes for the approaching lunch break when they heard the startling sound of people — they were not sure who — running through the halls, pounding on classroom doors. “Walkout!” they were shouting. “Walkout!”

They looked on in disbelief as hundreds of students streamed out of classrooms and assembled before the school entrance, their clenched fists held high. “Viva la revolucion!” they called out. “Education, not eradication!” Soon, sheriff’s deputies were rumbling in.

Lauren Hogg, 14, and brother David Hogg, 17, survived the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting.
Lauren Hogg, 14, and brother David Hogg, 17, survived the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting. (Jenny Jarvie / For The Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

  1. L.A. Unified is holding a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 walkouts by students demanding educational justice.
  2. Candidates for the LAUSD superintendent job have two weeks to apply.

In California:

  1. Studies that take stock of just how well California’s schools are doing will come out in June, in advance of the state’s November elections.
  2. Five candidates are running for California’s top education spot.

Nationwide:

  1. Two weeks after a deadly school shooting, students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
  2. In the wake of the shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles.

For Isabela Barry, it was time. After two weeks of tears, vigils and funerals — reliving her and her classmates’ ordeal when a gunman rampaged through their school, killing one of her best friends — the 16-year-old was ready to go back to class.

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A former student was arrested early Tuesday after he made threats to “shoot up” a high school in Chino Hills, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The federal response to Florida’s school massacre remained captive to competing political imperatives Tuesday, as House Republicans declined to sign onto President Trump’s proposal to arm and reward teachers willing to carry weapons, even as they made clear their aim is to oppose further restrictions on guns.