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These are letters we received about stories in the May-June 2006 issue of L.A. Youth.

Immigration walkouts

After reading “Were the walkouts effective?” it really got me thinking about our walkout. At my school a couple students walked out, but I didn’t see a reason to go even though I’m Hispanic. Not because I was in favor of HR 4437 [the proposed law that would have made it a crime to be in the United States as an undocumented immigrant], but because I didn’t really know what it was about. I watched my friends walk out though, and when the administrators came they all started running. That showed me that they weren’t really trying to stand up for something, but that they were just trying to find a way not to go to school.
    When I got home I talked to my parents about it and they told me that it was good that I didn’t walk out. They told me what HR 4437 was about, and after that I was mad that I didn’t walk out. I seriously disagree with it.
Danny Cardenas, Wilson MS (Glendale)

Standing up for public schools

I disagree with the article “A different kind of school” by Genesis Morales. I think that whatever school you attend, you can still do well in your classes. It does not matter if your school has the lowest rank in the world, you can still be a straight-A student. I don’t like the comments about Lincoln High because it has a magnet program. It’s very wrong to judge any school in such a short period of time [one day] or by asking a student who doesn’t care.
    The point is that you don’t need to be in a charter school to succeed. Big public schools, like Lincoln, are like the real world: tough, huge, diverse and challenging.
Justin Daniel Casillas, Lincoln HS

A girl in foster care misses her mom

This story was interesting to read. Sometimes I argue with my mom but it never gets to the point of threatening one another.
I don’t blame Brandy for hating everyone after her grandfather died. I went through the same experience with my uncle. I always wondered why he had to die. But … you can’t stop living if something goes wrong.
    I also believe that things happen for a reason. Going into the system and becoming a ward of the court must have made Brandy want to be more positive. It probably also made her happier. Of course, it’s natural to miss your parents if you love them. I think that when Brandy moves to Hawaii that she and her mom will get closer and be a happy family. I only wish the best for her.
Marlow McCurdy, Wilson MS

A soccer player who sings

I really enjoyed the article “Finding my voice.” I can really understand Michael Zobel’s position. I like to sing, too, but very few of my friends know that. I’ve always  wanted to join choir, but felt like I wasn’t good enough. After reading this article, I’m seriously considering trying to join choir [this year]. A lot of people have hidden talents but they never use them because they’re worried about what their friends think. I’m really happy that Michael sang his solo. It seems like he did a really great job and I wish I could have heard him sing.
Yeva Papayan, Wilson MS

Immigrant dreams

In this article all of what you said is true. Some of what was said in your article applies to me, too. My father, like yours, was an immigrant. But my dad is from Canada. When I asked what he did, he didn’t tell me much. But he told me enough to understand why he did it. He did it for me. Soon enough he became legal and life was great.
Armen Abidian, Wilson MS

Being Japanese is pretty cool after all

I read this article and I enjoyed it, but I also disliked a few parts. I am half-Japanese, half-American. It can be embarrassing hearing my mom, who was born in Japan and is 100 percent Japanese, speak English with a Japanese accent. It used to be hard for me not to be embarrassed when she would say words in public with a foreign accent, which made some of her words sound awkward. Now I am never embarrassed by my mom’s foreign accent.
    I disliked the part of her article when she said her parents pronounced Beverly Hills “Bevaree Hiruzu.” I think it’s mean that she made fun of her parents’ accents. She should just accept that she has parents from a different country and that they have accents. I also disliked when she said “Also, I have disliked my name, Machiko (MaCheek-oh).” I would be grateful and happy for a great name like that. I think it’s a fantastic name. In fact, I asked a lot of my friends and they also like it.
Julian Richardson, Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies