Day 139 Saturday, February 13, 2010: “Another Brick in the Wall”


This is Saturday, February 13, 2010 and  Day 139 of my days left at Fremont. The “restructuring” timeline appeared in the mail a couple of days ago, and the community meeting was held, as well, shifting venues from FremontHigh School (where it was originally scheduled) to Praises of Zion Church a few blocks south of the Mont. The room was pretty full, my guess was that the teachers present made up 20-25% of those in attendance.


What I’m actually writing about tonight are walls and fences. See, we’d been forced to make banners and flyers advertising the shift in venues and had to tape them to fences and buildings; certain fences required different techniques of taping and this sent my easily-distracted mind winding down other paths.


Walls and fences are barriers, but when you construct them, you have to keep in mind what you want to keep in—or out (ask anybody with a child—or a pet, I suppose…). This got me thinking about walls and barriers through history (it is my subject area, after all).

Hadrian’s Wall… The Great Wall of China… Ultimately, both of those failed through a lack of manpower of keeping the enemy OUT.  The Berlin Wall, designed to keep people IN, also failed; it was a symbol of the Cold War; the only time I remember my parents dancing was when the Wall fell in 1989. Then there’s the RIF-proof fence around Fremont.


Oh, you never heard about that one? No, it’s not the fence Auggie Herrera built that same year he put up the mural on the gym which now only exists in pictures like the one on the website, nay, nay. This is the fence we are being told exists for those teachers who re-apply to teach at Fremont. Never mind that RIFs are based upon start date as certificated employees; that means LAUSD looks at the DATE you started service—not WHERE you are employed.


Just another random thought: walls and fences are built as a desire for protection, which can often come from fear. So who’s afraid here?



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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.


    August 2010



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