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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Santa Ana Students Call on School Board to Expand "Ethnic Studies Now!"

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Parents, teachers and students packed Tuesday's board meeting of the Santa Ana Unified School District calling for an expansion of ethnic studies throughout the system, including making the course a requirement for high school graduation. The local activism is the latest push in a statewide "Ethnic Studies Now" effort gaining victories all around California. For all the enthusiasm in the room, spirited discussions before the board had to wait. The meeting recessed early before anyone arrived for nearly two-and-a-half hours so that trustees could attend a separate scholarship awards event scheduled around the same time. An impromptu spoken-word session broke out with activist Abraham Medina reciting "A Letter to the President: I Still Have a Dream." After finishing the poem, Medina inspired youth telling them the actions they take can change an entire district.

"We want ethnic studies implemented throughout all the schools and we want it for high school as a graduation requirement," Oscar Martinez, a 7th grader at Spurgeon Intermediate tells the Weekly. The student wants to learn more about the history of where his parents came from in Mexico and sees himself becoming an ethnic studies teacher in the future. "I'm pretty interested in every ethnicity, I want to learn about all their backgrounds."

Read more on my latest OC Weekly Navel Gazing Blog post:

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