SAN ANTONIO — Richard and Diana Herrera stopped by their old stomping grounds at Edgewood Fine Arts Academy. Back in their day, it was just Edgewood High School. 

They didn’t go by to relive the glory days however, but to show Spectrum News 1 a piece of history. 

“It’s gone by so fast. We were only just teenagers the day we walked out on May 16, 1968,” Richard Herrera said. 

A lot of components led to this walkout, but it pretty much boils down to inadequate education for poor Mexican American kids on San Antonio’s West Side. 

“We were realizing Edgewood High School was not offering college ready courses,” Diana Herrera said. “What they started to figure out and started to find is [that] many, many of our teachers were not degreed, much less certified.” 

The Herrera’s have newspaper clippings, photos and old high school memorabilia from those days in a room at their West Side home. It’s almost like a museum. Richard Herrera talked about the very hot classrooms and the outdated resources. 

Richard and Diana Herrera at Hemisfair Park in 1968. Photo courtesy of Richard and Diana Herrera

“Cause when we were attending school, our textbooks were old. You gotta remember two brand new schools left and right, Kennedy and Memorial (high schools) were in the middle, and all they were feeding us was scraps,” Richard Herrera said. 

He was at the forefront of the walkout that went across Highway 90 to protest in front of the superintendent's office, but Diana Herrera was stuck in her typing class when all of this was going down. 

“I had already been told that I couldn’t walk out because my dad worked at Lackland (Air Force Base) and that was civil service. That was government money,” Dianna Herrera said. 

Most of the students weren’t allowed back in school the same day, so two teachers took the classroom outside. Although this walkout made major headlines locally and the superintendent was replaced by the end of the summer, Diana Herrera still felt the inequalities of being a student in Edgewood. 

“I'd go into the counselors' department and I asked them why wasn’t my name on the list to do the paperwork for college,” Diana Herrera said. “She says ‘oh Diana, you are not going to college. You are going to marry Richard and have babies.’” 

There was hope for Edgewood in 1984 through the landmark case Edgewood vs Kirby. It made its way to the Texas Supreme Court and resulted in a unanimous vote that an equitable system needed to be in place. 

The “Robin Hood” plan was created, which is essentially wealthy districts distributing money to poorer districts. 

“The fight is tremendous, but it’s tiresome,” Richard Herrera said. 

 Now, there are more efforts to improve education.

Recently U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited an Edgewood ISD middle school that’s in a partnership with Texas A&M University-San Antonio. It’s a partnership that helps students think about college at an early age, but Diana Herrera hopes lawmakers' actions will result in real change.

“Just treat me equally, that’s all I want, just equally. They got this? We want it. They can do this, why can’t we?” Diana Herrera said. 

After high school, Diana Herrera did go to college. She graduated from Our Lady of the Lake University and returned to Edgewood as an educator in 1974. She eventually obtained a master's degree as well. 

She’s now retired and does speaking engagements in hopes of inspiring the next generation of Edgewood students. Diana Herrera mentioned that her discouraging story in the counseling office in the late 60s resonated with a young girl who went to high school in the district. 

“As soon as it ended, this little girl came up to me and she’s crying. I said 'que paso mamacita, what’s going on?'” Diana Herrera recalled. “'Dice, ‘ma’am, the counselors told me I’m not going to college.’ I said don’t you dare let that happen to you. Don’t you dare.”