Education

Fort Worth students get new holiday to honor Chávez, Huerta

United Farm Workers President César Chávez talks to striking Salinas Valley Farm workers during a rally in Salinas, Calif., in 1979. Students in Fort Worth schools will honor the leader with a new holiday that starts next year.
United Farm Workers President César Chávez talks to striking Salinas Valley Farm workers during a rally in Salinas, Calif., in 1979. Students in Fort Worth schools will honor the leader with a new holiday that starts next year. AP archives

Starting next school year, Fort Worth students can add a new holiday to their calendars — César Chávez-Dolores Huerta Day.

The holiday honors the lives and legacies of civil rights leaders who formed the United Farm Workers union in the 1960s to protest the poor treatment of laborers. It was passed through a resolution approved by the Fort Worth school board on Tuesday with an 8-0 vote.

Trustee Judy Needham was not present for the vote.

The resolution states that the two Hispanic leaders will be honored during a holiday that will be held annually the Monday before Chávez's birth date on March 31.

The board is encouraging students to observe the day as a "day on, not a day off," similar to calls for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in January.

Trustee Jacinto Ramos Jr. said Latino students in the majority-Hispanic district have been asking: "Where are our heroes and heroines?"

Some 62.5 percent of the district's 86,869 students last year were listed as Hispanic.

Latin Express 40th Anniversary & Salute to Cesar Chavez Event benefits FWISD music students on Thursday, March 31, 2016 at Casa Mañana. (Star-Telegram/Max Faulkner)

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