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Pasadena High Students End 2-Day Walkout

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Students at Pasadena High School ended their two-day walkout Thursday after Principal Judy Codding met with student representatives for two hours and modified her policy on sports-team classes.

Codding will now permit team members to transfer into last-period sports classes if the transfers do not force other students to change their schedules. Last-period practices are the norm in other Pasadena Unified School District high schools.

Student protest leaders had argued that Codding’s spring semester prohibition of such transfers would keep their teams from being competitive. And, they said, reduced warm-up time would increase the risk of injury.

“All students are affected by the sports program,” said senior class President Charise Brown, 17. “Very much of our school’s morale, spirit and unity has to do with sports. A lot of people go through high school just for athletics. It’s what gives us pride.”

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Codding had limited course changes to provide stability in students’ academic schedules. Because the school enrolled more students than expected last fall, she said, student schedules had only been fixed for several weeks before winter break.

Codding’s limited-transfer policy applies to the spring semester only. District officials are considering ending team classes district-wide next year as a cost-saving move.

The walkout began at lunchtime Wednesday. More than 300 students stayed out of class Wednesday, and more than 500 sat out Thursday morning. They held sit-ins both days at the student quadrangle, where the atmosphere was more festive than hostile.

As police and district officials watched, students used the sit-ins to air a variety of grievances. Most centered on the subject of communication, which has improved as a result of Thursday’s meeting with Codding, students said.

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“This is the first time we’ve had an open forum to express our opinions about school policy and have her listen to them,” said Alyshia Clawson, 17.


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