About 100 area activists take to streets

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“But if we keep walking out, we’re just hurting ourselves,” she added. “You couldn’t tell who was doing it for a good cause or who was just ditching. But we still want to stand up for what we believe in.” At El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, about 20 students gathered on the corner of Passons and Washington boulevards to protest after school, but did not march to downtown Los Angeles as planned. An after-school forum on the issue at El Rancho also failed to materialize, though officials said teachers have been discussing immigration reform legislation in history, social studies/civics and other classes during the week. The school was also under fire this week when it was discovered that one of its students was involved in a flag-flipping incident Monday at Montebello High School. In that incident, an American flag was flipped upside down under a Mexican flag on a flagpole. Acting Superintendent Susanna Smith said disciplinary action was taken against the student, but no other details were released. But Smith said the week was unlike anything she had ever seen. “It has been absolutely historical, not only for the staff, but for the students and community,” she said. “We will use it as an opportunity to engage in discussions about the consequences of our actions and freedom of speech.” El Rancho students who came out for Friday’s protest said they will continue to gather at the corner after school in the weeks ahead. “We are not doing this for attention, we are doing this to get our message across,” said Christopher Gallizzi, a 17-year-old El Rancho student. At California High, about 20students stood near the curb outside the school after classes were dismissed, waving a pole that had the Mexican flag back-to-back with an American flag. They had been waiting for other schools, and were upset when they learned the other marchers were already on their way to Pico Rivera. “We’re kind of disappointed that more people didn’t show up,” said senior Jose Romero, 18. “It feels like we took a wrong turn, got hung up somewhere along the way, and now we can’t find anybody.” Law enforcement was stepped up in Pico Rivera because of rumors that another walkout would take place Friday. Whittier police were also on the alert and giving out $165 truancy tickets to any student who wasn’t in class. Thousands of students marched in other California cities on Friday but authorities said the demonstrations were peaceful. There were no reports of walkouts in Los Angeles Unified School District. Big marches in San Diego and Bakersfield and smaller protests elsewhere coincided with the 79th anniversary of the birth of the late Cesar Chavez, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers union who became a champion of poor, Latino agricultural workers in the 1960s and ’70s. In this week’s protests, the students were mostly in opposition to a provision of a bill approved in the House of Representatives that calls for a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration. Its prospects for becoming law are uncertain. In Washington, D.C., the House has passed legislation limited to tightening borders and making it a crime to be in the United States illegally or to offer aid to illegal immigrants. The Senate, meanwhile, is debating a guest worker program that would offer possible citizenship opportunities. Wire reports contributed to this story. [email protected] [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – Expectations of a massive student walkout in the area proved unfounded Friday. Most students not only stayed in class but passed up a chance to participate in an after-school march against proposed immigration reform legislation.Only about 100 Whittier-area students – half of whom were from Whittier High School – participated in a March for Peace, which began about 3 p.m. and also was organized to commemorate Cesar Chavez Day. It was a far cry from earlier this week, when thousands of students from El Rancho, Pioneer, California, Whittier, Norwalk, Glenn and Montebello high schools walked out of morning classes and joined forces for large immigration-rights demonstrations at Norwalk City Hall and downtown Los Angeles. “I marched Monday and Tuesday for seven hours, and it was exhausting,” said Whittier High freshman Sadya Molina, 15, who helped organize Friday’s march. last_img read more