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Fight for Education Gives Voice to the Student

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MOOR cartoon by CARMEN LE
KAYIU WONG
Opinions Editor

We have all had moments in our high school careers when our class schedules are completely different from what we want. Trying to get a certain Advanced Placement (AP) course or fighting to drop a specific period are recurring schedule problems every year. However, for hundreds of students at Jefferson High School, a simple trip to the Guidance Office is not fixing anything.

For the past two weeks, students at the South Los Angeles school have been sitting in the wrong classes and receiving different schedules every day. Many are confused as to why they are put in classes they have already taken and passed while others are furious that they do not have classes they need to fulfill graduation requirements.

On Aug. 25, they took matters into their own hands. Hundreds of students deliberately walked out of class and sat in the Quad for two hours in silence as a protest against administrators. Designed to show that they were sick of wasting time at school and being deprived of an education, the students’ protest truly left Jefferson High and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in shock.

In response, LAUSD officials announced that the cause for the scheduling mismanagement was due to the installation of a new computer database known as the My Integrated Student Information System. Currently, the school’s master schedule is being reset and soon, the classes students receive will be reworked. However, the concern of when “soon” will finally come is adding to the list of complaints.

The students’ movement in demanding school officials to take action symbolizes the importance of a quality education in this generation. We are always told that as students, we are the ones in charge of our own academic futures, that it is up to us to develop the fundamental skills needed to succeed in life. The fact that this protest at Jefferson was completely student-organized is living proof of how powerful taking charge towards self-preservation and needed change is.

We all spend four long years in high school preparing and building ourselves up to graduate. The classes we receive and take play a significant part in how we prepare for the “real world.” Having any of this at stake simply because of the mistakes of a premature computer system is unacceptable. It is promising that LAUSD and Jefferson High officials are currently focusing on fixing these compounding problems, but what school officials should look more closely at in the future is just how valuable student input is in addressing current issues.

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