Karen Wolfe: Why Students at Venice High School in L.A. Staged a Walkout

Karen Wolfe writes here about the decision of students at Venice High School in Los Angeles staged a walkout.

They were protesting the removal of an African-American guidance counselor.

The problem was the principal, who wanted to squelch free expression:

Complaints against Principal Oryla Wiedoeft had been brewing since she arrived a year and a half ago. Some students complained about a repressive dress code. Others were frustrated by her suppression of a movement to opt out of standardized tests.

Protests and free expression are part of the rich history of Venice, California. Venice’s unique cultural diversity is protected by law, and many officials have built careers celebrating it. L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin shared a video of his Venice field deputy gleefully marching in the recent Gay Pride parade. U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, who represents the area, is an outspoken critic of Donald Trump. In the wake of Trump’s threats to crack down on immigration, the L.A. school district passed a resolution to make schools sanctuary sites for immigrant families.

Yet, according to a parent and a teacher I interviewed, when Venice High students planned a demonstration in support of immigrants last winter, the principal sent the school police to break up their meeting, saying the groups were becoming too radical.

One student said of the school principal: “She’s not for our trans students. She’s not for our students of color. She’s not for our undocumented students.”

Wolfe fears that she is trying to act like a charter school principal.

from novemoore http://ift.tt/2tntv1k


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