In July of 1930, in Lemon Grove, California, members of the school board addressed concerns of overcrowding and “sanitary and moral” issues resulting from the mingling of Mexican and Anglo students by sending the students of Mexican descent to a separate school. The parents of these children, most of whom were US citizens, had not been informed of this change. As soon as they became aware, they refused to comply, and sought redress in law.

On March 30, 1931, the case (Alvarez v. the Board of Trustees of the Lemon Grove School District) was decided in favor of the plaintiffs, ending the attempt at segregation. The arguments and issues introduced in the case would surface again, most notably in the Mendez vs Westminster case in 1943.

(Pictured to the Left) Lemon Grove Grammar School, c. 1928. Robert Alvarez, plaintiff in “The Lemon Grove Incident,” is in the third row at far left.

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