Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsStudents

Serious Students Are Held Hostage to Others' Antics

July 16, 2002

Re "A School Flails in a Sea of Chaos," July 14: The plight of 15-year-old Ray Torres, who had to get away from Fremont High School to find a place to learn, breaks my heart. As a substitute teacher for the L.A. Unified School District, I have seen many youngsters like Torres; they are the quiet ones with pleading eyes, beaten down by chaos created by classmates. Torres' precious hours of learning have been hijacked by these disrespectful punks, who are ubiquitous and multiethnic--West Valley, South Central; doesn't matter where.

Students who want to learn are hostages to other students' self-centered antics. It baffles me why parents aren't mad as hell. Test scores would improve dramatically if the troublemakers were compelled to be quiet and listen. If they choose not to learn, at least they should not be allowed to prevent others from learning.

Although some of the schools' physical plants are tattered and depressingly dark, there is no lack of excellent books, resources and teachers. The LAUSD also has an effective system of tracking attendance. The key to helping students like Torres is the school principal, who is captain of the ship and imposes the overall atmosphere.

Cristina Forde

Malibu

*

The article only mentioned one parent, Dolores Torres, and she was busy getting her son out of Fremont. There are at least 3,000 students attending Fremont. What about the parents of these students? A 16-year-old reading at third-grade level was once an 8-year-old in the third grade. One hundred and fifty parents showing up at a meeting leaves a couple of thousand staying home, uninvolved with their children's education.

Where are these parents when their children are growing up to become the illiterates and gang members (who else would mark up the textbooks with graffiti?) who are the shame of Fremont and their families?

Abraham Hoffman

Canoga Park

*

I read with shock, but not much surprise, about a condition of education so abysmal that the state must send auditors to Fremont to assess the problem and to recommend solutions. Don't taxpayers already pay a fair salary plus an undoubtedly hefty expense account to a former governor of Colorado to take charge of this kind of thing? And didn't a former superintendent, known for his troubleshooting ability, establish several mini-superintendents whose jobs, it would seem, include taking charge of this kind of thing? What are they all doing? What about their lack of preparation and training to do the job? Maybe the state should address this also.

Daniel Hennessy

Arcadia

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|