Jonathan Kozol is a well-known advocate for social injustice and public education. He is an educator, activist, and writer. He advocates through his writing. One of his articles was about a High school in a well-recognized city across the United States of America. The 8 page article referring to Fremont High School, Fremont High school is between San Pedro Street and Avalon Boulevard in South central Los Angeles. In this city, Fremont High School is known as a friendly school, with an eight hour schedule. Jonathan Kozol visited Fremont high during the spring of 2003.
An eight foot high fence with spikes on the top, are what separate Fremont High from the city. School windows are shielded or boarded from gunfire to keep the students safe. Some classes are taught in portables or storage rooms. Some storage rooms do not even have windows and this is where the students are being taught. Students at Fremont are given thirty minutes for lunch and are all fed together at the same time. Many students don’t even bother to eat, due to the limited time they get and the conditions they are in. Rodents run freely in Fremont high. Hamburger buns have rat bite marks and rat droppings have been found around the school.
At Fremont only one or two bathrooms are operational and there are fifteen bathrooms short that are required by the law. Since there only a few restrooms available the lines are tremendously long, students don’t get to use the bathroom at times, and are usually late for class. In most cases the facilities are unclean and lacking basic toiletries. Some parts of the high school lacks proper ventilation system for students such air conditioning; students have been known to turn red and nauseated. Also students who want certain classes such as the advanced placement courses and college courses are not able to get them.
The library is almost always closed throughout the year. Conclusively, two thirds of ninth of grade students drop out before receiving a diploma or reaching the twelfth grade. Ironically, Fremont High School is known as the friendly school of South Central Los Angeles. However this high school shouldn’t be even considered to be a functional public facility, let alone be open as a learning establishment. Imagine not having basic toiletries, not having enough time to eat or being taught in small storage closet without ventilation. I can understand and doesn’t surprise my why so many students drop out from Fremont High.
It hurts to hear what those students face on a daily basis. While I was reading this article about this terrible school, the words sickened me. It left me feeling shocked and wanting to find out more about this school. So I did, I found out that Fremont high closed at one point for reconstruction a year or two after this article and is open now. Almost everything that had a negative effect such conditions changed as well as some new curricular courses. My conclusion on the article that Jonathan Kozol wrote referring to Fremont High is that this article was needed to help make a positive change in the education Fremont provided.
The conditions of the school were improved and they are working on ways to help students stay in school and not drop out. Before the conditions were improved, I could hardly believe that a school being in the U. S could have such terrible conditions and still be open. At the time of this article was written Fremont high was a bad school, not in the sense that the teachers didn’t care for the students or the students missed behaved, but in the sense that government needed to provide more funds to the school to help the school function properly.
In time the school closed for reconstruction for a few months, and now students are attending the school right now in adequate learning conditions. When people say Jonathan Kozol is an advocate for public education it’s the truth because without this article much of the public would have not known about the problems occurring in Fremont High. I believe he deserves much more recognition in the things he does to help in prove the learning of others. He is a great example of how one person can make a change for the good of others.
Courtney from Study Moose
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