“By the time I was in the second grade, everyone was calling me Raymond.”
Ramon "Chunky" Sanchez remembers how teachers changed the names of Mexican-American students during the 1950s.
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RS: My name, when I started kindergarten, was Ramón. And by the time I was in the second grade everybody was calling me Raymond. You know, out in the playground, in the classroom, "Raymond, hey Raymond, hey Raymond, hey Raymond." You know, I was trying to adjust to this, you know what I mean. And if there was a girl named María, her name became Mary. And Juanita became Jane. Till one day we got a new student by the name of Facundo González. Facundo González, man. When he came to school we noticed they called an emergency administrative meeting. You could kind of hear them talking through the door, you know, "What are we going to do with this guy man," you know what I mean. "How are we going to change him name," you know. And one teacher goes, "well you know what, why don't we try to shorten the name a little bit." And they go, "yeah, but how do you spell it, F-A-C-U-N-D-O?" And they go, "why don't we spell it F-A-C?" And one of teachers, "well that means his name would be Fac." And the other teachers looked at him, "oh, that sounds too much like that, like a dirty word, you can't be saying Fac where's your homework, where's Fac at" you know what I mean? Well that was a trip we always remembered going through elementary school, because Facundo was the only guy who never got his name changed.