In the High Schools

"Hey! What's That Sound?"


Fifth Estate # 77, April 17-30, 1969

A group of young people is shown marching in the street. They are carrying a large banner that reads, "Revolutionary Contingent."
Cass students march to Wayne State University mall for student strike rally. Dave Watson is in the center. Photo by A. Gotkin.

April 3 Walkout

On April 3, Detroit area high school students walked out of school in protest against the war in Vietnam, in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and around issues of student rights, racism, and other issues pertaining to each school.

Some of the schools where students walked out were Malcolm X Junior and Senior Highs, Cass Tech, Western, Cooley, Mumford, Denby, and Chadsey among others.

The protest manifested itself in many forms, such as actual walkouts, or the boycott which took place at Western.

I can only really tell Cass’ story, because that is where I organized. The strike- at Cass pulled three or four hundred students out, and some went downtown to support Judge Crockett while others marched to Wayne State for a rally.

No matter what the Pig media says, the students were intimidated and in some cases actually forced physically to stay in school. Most students who walked out expressed the opinion that this was just a start.

And with the recent formations of a newspaper, a student union, and a Revolutionary Student Coalition at Cass, it seems that this is just a start. We will not be stopped!

North Farmington Walkout

The shit flew at North Farmington recently when a student, Jeff Cohen, was kicked out for wearing a beard.

A meeting was called by interested students, who sat in the halls when a room was refused them. Picket lines were set up around school, and the protest seemed to be quite successful until the principal threatened to suspend everyone who did not enter school.

The number of students suspended was 191. Students out in Farmington are presently in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ann Arbor

White and Black Panthers in the Ann Arbor high schools have started to move and have put out a few leaflets.

One from the White Panthers reads in part:

“This is an open letter to all those control addicts who are using brutality and intimidation to try to keep us down. It won’t work. This must be understood… WE WILL NOT BE FUCKED WITH!…”

National Organizing Committee

The National Organizing Committee, a radical organization of young working people has been doing work at area high schools.

Their high school demands are an end to school militarism, an end to the racist oppressive tracking system, and the right for all students to organize high school unions and political organizations in their schools.


Students held a rally in Dearborn on April 9, with the help of NOC organizers. No information was given to me on the rally as yet, but there will be a report in the next issue.

Student Union at Cass

Plans for a student union at Cass are being made by students there. A leaflet signed LS/MFT—Liberate the School/Must Fight Today called for a meeting at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, Woodward at Holbrook at 7:30 p.m., April 18 to discuss such issues as racism in schools, censorship of publications, military influences, ineffective student governments, and unfair discipline.

This column will be a regular Fifth Estate feature. All students who are getting down in their schools should contact me through this paper to get your story printed in the liberated press of Detroit.


See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.