12 march 1968 & eastern hs student walkout in support of teacher
#OTD Tuesday 12 March 1968 The 500+ Eastern HS students, who organized a walkout yesterday to support Jay Lord, a white English teacher whose draft deferment was revoked, were happy to hear that Principal Madison W. Tignor, who requested the revocation, had been placed on extended leave.
Principal Tignor was apparently trying to stop Lord from supporting the activism of individuals and student groups, including the Modern Strivers, one of the most active organizations at the school. Lord was the Modern Strivers' advisor.
It was the Washington Teachers Union that uncovered that Tignor had written a letter to the draft board requesting that Lord's deferment be revoked as a "patriotic gesture."
Once students heard about Tignor's action, they walked out for the last hour of the school day. School officials overreacted by calling the police.
Some of the students' signs in the photo above state:
"Mr. Lord, You Shall Overcome"
"Send Mignon to the War"
Photo Source: Courtesy DCPL Special Collections, 1968. Photographer unknown.
"Principal in Draft Case Row Goes on 'Extended Leave'," Washington Post 12 March 1968.
To learn more about the Modern Strivers and a January boycott, click here.