The Oarsman

Activism Club Stands with Teachers on Strike

Venice+High+Activism+Club+members+organize+in+front+of+the+LAUSD+Headquarters+alongside+Students+Deserve+members+and+fellow+students.
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Activism Club Stands with Teachers on Strike

Venice High Activism Club members organize in front of the LAUSD Headquarters alongside Students Deserve members and fellow students.

Venice High Activism Club members organize in front of the LAUSD Headquarters alongside Students Deserve members and fellow students.

Athena Koon

Venice High Activism Club members organize in front of the LAUSD Headquarters alongside Students Deserve members and fellow students.

Athena Koon

Athena Koon

Venice High Activism Club members organize in front of the LAUSD Headquarters alongside Students Deserve members and fellow students.

Athena Koon, Features Editor

Last week on Wednesday, Jan. 9, several members of Venice High’s Activism Club gathered on the front lawn of the Venice Alumni House with posters and markers in hand. Alongside their teachers and fellow students, the group created signs in preparation of the teachers’ strike that began Monday, Jan. 14. Some read “Privatization kills communities” and “Kids are Not Criminals, End Racist ‘Random’ Searches.”

As a handful of students who are deeply passionate about today’s political climate and social issues, the club members were involved in nearly every aspect of the strike. Besides making posters, the Activism Club continuously spread awareness of the strike via social media and flyers. Prior to the strike, club members invited all students to their meetings to discuss how youth could support the teachers during the strike.

Club founder Thomas Koon says that working with Students Deserve, a youth-led organization fighting against police brutality and public education injustice, has given the club additional support in organizing together as students during the strike.

During the rainy afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 15, members from the club and Students Deserve banded together with students from all over the district on the steps of the LAUSD Headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles.

Dressed in red clothing and makeshift plastic ponchos, the young demonstrators chanted for hours, hoping to reach Superintendent Austin Beutner past the wall formed by officers outside the building. Venice junior Luke Titan claims that one Students Deserve representative had invited Beutner to speak to the students directly. However, Beutner never showed up.

“I feel disrespected and not taken seriously. If he claims he cares about the students, how come he didn’t show? It’s our education he’s depriving by not adhering to UTLA’s demands,” commented Titan on Beutner’s no-show.

For the remainder of the strike, the Activism Club will continue to show their support for Venice High’s teachers by picketing with them and with other young people.

Looking forward, Koon wants to officiate the club by turning it into a Students Deserve chapter at Venice High School.

If you would like to be apart of the club, you can find them in Rm. 253 during lunch every Monday. They are also on Instagram @vhs.student.activists.

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