Inside Our Schools
Although they have already graduated from Alhambra High School, the students of Jose Sanchez’s 3rd period American Government class continue to promote the Gun Control Resolution they wrote after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.
By Cheryl Cabot
What started as an exercise in learning how to write a resolution developed into much more. With help from Ms. Adele Andrade-Stadler and Mr. Sean McMorris, Vice President and President respectively of the Alhambra Democratic Club, the class decided to write a gun control resolution. After many rewrites, the resolution was ready to be presented to various organizations to be endorsed.
An article about the class resolution was first published in ColoradoBoulevard.net, followed by The Pasadena Star News, The Hill (a Washington D.C. publication), and finally CNN. Their class project had become national news.
But that was just the beginning. The students presented it to various clubs and councils including Alhambra Democratic Club, United Democrats of the San Gabriel Valley, Alhambra Teacher’s Association, and the Alhambra School Board, all of whom voted to endorse the resolution.
Representative Judy Chu visited the school to meet the students and Mr. Sanchez to present them with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for their work. As guests at the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Los Angeles (CACALA) 106th Anniversary Luncheon & Fundraiser, several of the students and Mr. Sanchez were introduced by Rep. Chu and presented an award in recognition of their work on civic engagement. As a result of meeting Rep. Chu, some of the students are spending the summer working with Chu’s office on developing gun control legislation to present to Congress later this this year.
All of this during finals week and graduation! The students have continued to promote their resolution throughout the summer.
On June 28, Professor John Rogers, UCLA history professor, invited the class to speak to a group of LAUSD teachers on the topic of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) and the work they have done with their gun resolution.
Most recently, two of the students, Eduardo Flores, Briana Garay along with their teacher, Mr. Sanchez met California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom as guests of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party where they gave a copy of their resolution to Newsom’s staff.
Sanchez asked Newsom how he would address the issue of gun control. “I will be the NRA’s worst nightmare,” Newsom responded. “Anyone can walk into a Big Five and buy ammunition. Gun owners can purchase guns on the Black Market, no background check. That must change.”
On September 15, the Ronald Reagan Library and the LACOE have invited the students and Sanchez to present their resolution and the work they have done at the Annual Constitution Day Conference at the Library in Simi Valley.
For all his hard work with the students on the resolution during the school year and after graduation, Mr. Sanchez has been named “Educator of the Year” by Rep. Judy Chu for her Congressional District. He will be honored at “The Congressional Leadership Awards Ceremony” hosted by Chu at the Altadena Senior Center in Altadena on July 28.
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