Berendo Middle School
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)
Belmont Cluster
Pico-Union and Westlake areas
Los Angeles, California

Berendo Middle School "Crusaders"

Some discussions....

You have articulated well the depth of their pain....
"...I completely understand where your coming from,
because I was a 'loco on the calles,' at one time."

Inner-City Schools, Good and Evil, Hollywood and Walt Disney culture, and the movie "187"
"Oh what a lightweight country we have become!"

I want to thank you very much for what services....
"Your experiences have inspired me to persue my teaching career."

I applaud your efforts in describing this neighborhood...
"Again thank you for taking me down Nightmare Avenue and rest well knowing some of us did get out Alive and Kicking."

Moving on to greener pastures and brighter futures...
".... I got a trade and finished high school and right now i am going to S.L. Community college."

"You are not alone.... I saw all of the patterns beginning to develop."
"It is happening everywhere...."

"You are asking too much from your immigrant students who speak English as a second language."
"The average latino is, well, only average."

" Our district does not yet feel the pain of violence that LAUSD obviously does, but the root cause of the violence and failure, APATHY, has set in
and is now spreading throughout the district."
"We need every dedicated teacher we can get!"

"What do you think about Proposition 209 and anti-immigrant legislation?"
"I hated like hell being caught in the middle!"

"Your essay made me very sad."
"I have been teaching at one of the elementary schools which feeds to Berendo for five years now, and I have such a different perspective.

Bilingual Education Thread from "Salon Magazine"
"I am an old geezer, I know, but I went to grade schools and junior high and high schools in the late 1920's and mid 1930's..."

"I grew up having lots of fun knowing how much power a gang member has."
"I loved knowing that many people's lives were in my hands. I felt good knowing that I could easily end someones life if they crossed the line or look at me in any bad way."

"How sad, but true."
"I feel comforted that there is someone who is putting out the truth."

"I attended Berendo in 1983... I know that it is hard growing up in that area."
"Let them kids know that there is a way out of the HOOD."

"I went to Berendo Jr. High in 1981..."
"Tell your students that many Berendo students go on and have a good life...that's what I tell mine."

"I am still hopeful. I cannot give up the ship yet. But your words ring in my ear...
"I hope many people read about your story. Mine is hardly any different. I was sadly amused by the truth you tell."

Chicago and L.A. school systems: "The futility is the worst."
"I am not encouraged that there is hope, but I am encouraged to know that my experience is not unique."

Young and out to save the world through "Teach for America"
"Then again, if I don't do this, who will? If not now, when?"

Vocational Education
"We should, at the very least, teach those who honesty desire to learn instead of letting the worst drag everyone down with them!"

Can anything be done?
"The question i'm struggling with now, and which you pointedly refer to on your page, is how my future career within those hated 'schools of education' can be structured in a way that will have real impact on schools like the ones we've both taught at."

Different jobs and different goals.
"I have a VERY different job than you, Richard, but I DO TEACH. I just teach different things, and in different ways."

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