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Hernandez v. Driscoll CISD

Elianah Wulfsberg and Kendall Kindred Senior Division Group Website National History Day 2014

Process Paper As we contemplated potential topics, our group took into consideration our interests, content that would adhere to the years NHD theme of Rights and Responsibilities, and where those interests and the theme overlapped. We thought about personal contacts, family history, and if any of our families had been primary witnesses to any historically significant event. A member of our group introduced the court case Hernandez v. Driscoll CISD (which had strong themes of segregation and ethnic discrimination in public schools) because her grandparents, who grew up near the small Texan town of Driscoll, witnessed the case make its way to the Supreme Court. We investigated the historical context of the event, and collectively decided it was a perfectly specific topic to research that still maintained accordance with the NHD theme. We began our research online, working our way through credible resources, gaining a basic understanding of our topic, and once we understood the depth of our topic, we began searching for sources that addressed historical context. We used these sources to concentrate data and enhance the quality and complexity of the information on our website. We furthered our research by interviewing Dr. Enrique Aleman, an associate professor at the University of Utah, whose mother was a young girl who testified at court the day of the trial. He also helped create a documentary Stolen Education that covered the case and also aided our comprehension of the topic. We had trouble understanding the process that court cases endured to reach the Supreme Court until our schools AP U.S. History teacher explained it to us. Finally, a member of our group visited the local school

University of Texas at Arlington and obtained research from books and databases. Our group attempted to gain as much information from as many different kinds of resources as possible to create a thorough analysis of our case. We decided to create a website as opposed to the other categories of projects because one of our members revealed to us that she was capable of building websites thanks to her enrollment in several technology application classes. To understand what was expected of our website, we looked at previous years websites and built ours based on organizational patterns we found to be common among them. It consisted of a concentrated version of our research, photos, quotes, and required information, and it was made the best it possibly could in the time frame given. The relationship between our case and the NHD theme is obvious: ethnic discrimination that people of color experienced was an area of extreme discourse throughout American history considering the rights declared in the U.S. Constitution. Our case directly challenged the belief that people of color were inferior to whites and declared that it was the governments responsibility to assure equal rights to public education for all students. It was one of the first to be justified in favor of the minority, influencing the turning point in American history toward true equality for all citizens (498 words).