diegogirl81 (diegogirl81) wrote in losangelesteach,

What's the situation at your school with the proposed immigration bill?

Hi, welcome to Los Angeles Teach, a new community that you can use to network and exchange information about issues that are going on in LA! I am female, 25, and I have been teaching at a middle school in South Los Angeles for the last three years. I was actually absent yesterday, so I missed this, but my school was locked down and my homeroom had to stay with the poor sub for 5 hours! Thank god I have a tv/vcr in the room. There was some violence against the administration, and a lot of students walked out. When I came back to school today I told my students that walking out and being violent was not only ineffective, but that it also made "southcentral" look even worse in everyone's eyes, and is this the impression that they really want to spread? Lastly, I told them that the only way that they could make any REAL change is to stay in school and get an education.

What is going on at your school, and how are you addressing the issues with your students?
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We're having a lot of the same stuff happening at my school. Today was better and much quieter. Now that the students have settled a bit we are able to discuss the issues and get them informed.

History and English teachers have been throwing it into their lesson plans and one of my co-teachers and I are having the kids do their research papers on Immigration Laws. Should be interesting. They are going to research the topic and write letters to their congressmen, the president, the governor, the mayor and to the LA times and the incentive is...if their letter is published by the LA times they get an automatic A for the semester!

We told them that 13 INFORMED 7th graders is more powerful than 100 UNINFORMED kids running in the streets and getting hurt. Time will tell :)
we went into lockdown once on monday, and three times on tuesday. ld4 had us start the day on lockdown, and we opted to do so after every major break. we had a bell-less day so that the people outside the school wouldn't hear us leaving so they wouldn't incite the kids anymore.

i spent today discussing what is happening. i used the 60s civil rights movement as an example. i told them that to stage a successful protest, they must be informed, orgainized and peaceful. once they lose any of those three, normal people stop listening, and at that point, they've only hurt their cause. i explained to them how to work within the confines of school and how to not violate any laws. i told them that it's not fair that i knew more about this than they did--after all, it wasn't my family that was going to be deported. i told them that they need answers to questions that haven't been asked, and that they need to anticipate the other side. i told them that holding signs that said "viva mexico" or "latino pride" wasn't the answer, and that this is a multiethnic issue, not just a latino one.

over all, i'm glad that this has happened. if we have created a wave of informed voters who understand why they are doing the things they're doing, how can that be bad?
I'm glad you are turning this incident into an opportunity for a great lesson. I teach Intermediate ESL, and the kids are at a pretty low level, so I don't know well they would do w/ research reports--maybe if I had more time and wasn't on a damn pacing plan! I have talked to them about it, though.