imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Students At Locke High Demand An Education

by Anna Kunkin Sunday, Jul. 29, 2001 at 7:38 AM
annekunkin@earthlink.net Los Angeles, California

This is the second in a series of articles about Locke High School in South Central Los Angeles, where humiliating random searches are carried out against the students on a daily basis and where a teacher was fired for standing up for her students.

"Give us respect. Don't look down on us because we are teens; especially people of color from South Central," says Starlet, a high school senior from Locke High in Watts. "We deserve to be talked to like humans and to be taken seriously. Starlet is one of a group of students from Locke High, one of the more troubled schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, who have come to address the Governing Board.

Lucia Ortiz, Crystal Carillo, Everardo Pastor and Starlet Brown have waited patiently for over two hours in a drab auditorium where observers sit in rows of gray upholstered seats watching the proceedings. The Board members sit in a Crescent shape on a raised dais at the front of the room, facing the audience behind rows of tables between portraits of President Bush and California Governor Grey Davis hanging on the walls. The Board Members all have placards in front of them with their names printed on them, and they each have a pitcher of water. We sit and watch them drinking water while they discuss the expenditure of millions of dollars for land, new buildings, and air-conditioning for school gymnasiums in the L.A.district.

The students sit patiently through all this, going over their notes until it is time for them to speak. And when they do, they talk about classrooms with no teachers or teachers who hand out crossword puzzles and then go to sleep at their desks. In a room where they have just heard about expenditures of millions of dollars being discussed, they talk about not having books to take home or supplies in their classes. One by one they get up and talk about the terrible violence on their campus; and it's not because of the students who attend, they say, or because of the rough neighborhood. No, they say, it's because they go to a school that spends more time trying to control them than to give them an education. They talk about the random searches that have been going on since 1993, where classes in session are disrupted while students are pulled out of classrooms to have their possessions gone through and their bodies searched by Deans and Campus Police. They tell stories of fights on the campus where these same Campus Police stand and watch without intervening until students are bloody or until an administrator appears.

"Some of the things I have experienced at Locke High School make me feel more like a prisoner or a criminal than like a safe student," says Starlet.

"The best way to prevent violence," says Everardo, "is to give us coaches, after school programs and teachers who want to teach: not to treat us like criminals"

After the students speak, the Board members show animation and passion for the first time all afternoon while they talk about how the needs of these students need to be addressed. No dollar figures or deadlines are mentioned; instead they are very excited about a proposal to encourage parents to ask if guns exist in the homes of their kid's friends.

Ami Motevalli is a 31year old art teacher who has been teaching at Locke High for 2 years. From the beginning she has been appalled by the conditions the students are struggling to learn under. "I saw students not going to classes because they were unsupervised or because there were no teachers in the classes," she says, "There were rules that were not clear; not concise, and that were constantly changed. I saw kids thrown up against the walls and getting maced by Campus Police."

I tell her about Johnny; a kid that talked to me on the sidewalk outside the school a few days before. Johnny told me that the cops have grabbed him several times. He says they just come up to him anywhere on the school grounds or in the hallways, unzip his backpack, watch everything spill out onto the ground, and then just walk away. "Oh no!" I'm aghast. "And how does that make you feel?" I ask. "Oh," he says, "It doesn't bother me too much. There's nothing I can do about it-so it's alright."

"That's the scary part' agrees Ami, "these searches are so dehumanizing, and these kids are used to them." That's what they mean by 'criminalizing;' that the students are subjected to it so much that it gets to the point where they get used to it."

"It was very hostile, she continues, " the students tried to stop it, and tried to say that they wanted it to stop. They basically want to go to school and learn. They want to go to a school where their teachers at least learn their names and give them a proper education."

She started mentioning some of these problems at faculty meetings; the need for supplies, for teachers, for the teachers themselves to learn conflict resolution, and was, for her efforts, asked if she had a problem with her job. She started talking to the students about their rights and helped them to organize a student union.

Eddie Villalobos, a student in her art class, says that Ms. Motevalli, was one of the very few teachers in the school who really seemed to care whether their students got an education. Ms. Motevalli took the class on field trips to see art, and helped him get involved with a Watts Tower's project. "But she wasn't an easy teacher," he says, "She'll try to force you to learn. The other teachers just care about getting paid. They don't have to do anything; all they have to do is show up and they get paid."

Because she had talked to the students about their rights, when her 2nd period class was picked for a "random search," Ms. Motevalli felt obligated to set an example for them. So when the Dean showed up at her classroom with the Campus Police, she informed them that her class was in the middle of a lesson and couldn't be disturbed.

"She stood up for us," says Eddie, " that means a lot to me and to all the kids. I went to my 6th period class that day, and when the teacher in that class asked me what had happened, I told her, and then I asked her if she would have done the same thing. She said no," he said, "She said she wouldn't risk her job; that it wasn't that important if we had to finish our work another day. She just didn't care. But Ms. Motevalli cares about us."

Ami Motevalli later received a letter informing her that she was being terminated and that her contract was not going to be renewed for the following year. This, ostensibly due to a poor review; although all her reviews prior to this incident had been stellar. There are currently two lawsuits filed: one in the Federal Court on behalf of the students, challenging the policies that are being used against them, and another in The State Court on Ms. Motevalli's behalf. She is hoping to get her job back and to continue teaching at Locke High School where she is sorely missed by her students.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 2 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Its not fair for a teacher that cares Eddie Villalobos Friday, Aug. 24, 2001 at 8:59 AM
We do Care anonamous Friday, Sep. 14, 2001 at 3:51 PM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy