Monterey Highlands Student Protests Against AUSD Actions

Staff Writer

On Jan. 17, eighth-grader Maia Wu and her siblings were expelled from Monterey Highlands Elementary for protesting against the wrought-iron fence that was built around the school, a protective measure that was deemed necessary following the shooting tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Wu’s and her siblings’ inter-district permits to attend Monterey Highlands were revoked based on their “unwillingness to cooperate with school officials and abide by district policies and procedures,” according to the Alhambra Source.

In response, Wu posted a video on YouTube in which she decried the AUSD’s actions.

“Monterey Highlands and the Alhambra Unified School District are obsessed with control and are no longer thinking about students when they make their choices,” Wu said in her video response.

The school officials are aware of the video; however, according to the Alhambra Source, the school denied Wu’s claims.

“My priority is to provide and ensure safe learning environment for all students and […] staff members, due to several tragedies that have been happened on school campuses, we have to take a proactive stance rather than a reactive one,” Monterey Highlands Principal Debbie Kotani said, according to the Pasadena Star News.

Nonetheless, Wu’s mother and other parents also protested and attempted to communicate with AUSD.

“I have a vision of a school that will embrace student voice and student participation in civic matters. I want to learn in an environment that welcomes freethinkers, opposing viewpoints and values the democratic process,” Wu said in her video response.