Round of applause for M’Kala Payton

25 04 2012

Media Academy junior M’Kala Payton couldn’t have explained Fremont’s rugged campus any more precisely.

Payton spoke with staff attorney Tara Kini of Public Advocates Inc. about our “jail-looking” school facility. You can view the interview with Kini here.

In my opinion, my peer M’Kala was very spot on about Fremont’s environment. Yes, our portables are decades old and reek of mold and rat infestation. Yes, we don’t have the proper materials. And yes, our high school isn’t as clean as you’d expect a high school campus should be.

But the one thing about us Fremont students, or students of color who attend inner-city schools in general, is that no matter what, we take what we can get. There’s the half of the student body who use the available materials to our advantage, and then there’s the other half who complain about our out-of-date materials and don’t bother picking up a textbook.

The general perception of society on schools like Fremont is “ghetto”, “dangerous”, “chaotic”. What these certain people don’t see is how persistent and how hard working we students are.

Let me just some spotlight on our bright young students who made it on the Honor Roll with a 3.0 above in the fourth marking period.

A few particular students I would like everyone to recognize includes Ariel Martinez, who just gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last month. Some students on Media Academy’s honor roll got into schools such as Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Los Angeles and Yale.

Lastly, the  College Summit program helped many students of Fremont broaden their knowledge about college and assist them with incoming college planning. Thanks to College Summit, a couple friends and I who attended the summer program are now expecting to be attending college at UC Santa Cruz in the fall. Other College Summit participants will be attending the different UCs available in California as well; UC Berkeley, Davis,  and Riverside.

Round of applause for Fremont. Keep up the good work.





Trayvon Martin Walkout

24 04 2012

Photo Taken by Aleanna Santos

This is fairly late but better late than never, right?

Well, as you may (or may not) all know, Trayvon Martin was a young African-American male who was shot and killed by a Hispanic man in Sanford, Florida late February.

On April 4, I was walking to my fifth period class when I suddenly noticed a large group of students crowding around the front gate of the Fremont campus. I assumed it was just a brawl between two students but later found out the group attempted to get off of school grounds, performing a walkout in honor of Trayvon Martin.

Students carried signs and pinned photos of Martin on their clothing, marching around campus looking for a way out.

My friends and I decided to be nosey and followed the crowd to see if the walkout was going to be successful. Eventually, half of the group exited through the front gate and the rest through the back.

I completely understand why students of Fremont felt strongly enough to organize a walkout for Martin, but what I thought was very disrespectful were the ones who took advantage of the walkout and looked at it as a free ticket out of school.

I kind of felt the need to add this story into my blog because on New Year’s Day 2009, a similar incident happened in Oakland. Oscar Grant was also an unarmed African-American man who was shot and killed by BART police.

These kinds of stories stick to the cities its happened in like glue. Once the entire country knows about a colored innocent life being taken away, (in my opinion) it’s hard to forget the past. Because of events like Grant’s, community members will never be able to trust authorities.





RE: ‘Do Now #23: Why Do So Many Students Drop Out of High School?’

27 03 2012

On the KQED website, I read yet another article about high school drop outs posted by Matthew Green. The article can be found here.

‘Why do so many students drop out of high school?’

Even though the headline to the article was a question, I found no answer to it reading it. This website clarified statistics and went into racial specifics about dropout percentages in the entire state of California.

In the article, it was specified that the Oakland Unified School District’s high school drop out rate was at 40 percent in the 2009 and 2010 school year. After that, it was compared to San Francisco’s school district, whose dropout rate was at nine percent in that same year.

Comparisons like that make me shake my head and feel disappointed because these statistics are what society sees. The statistics are plastered on the news for everyone in the Bay Area to see and people look at Oakland like it’s too dangerous of a city to step foot in.

Because the dropout rate and violence rate is so high, people tend to overlook what lies underneath the numbers. I feel like the only people who see how much potential Oakland youth has or the beauty the city holds are the people who live in Oakland.