COMMENTARY : 'Open Your Eyes' to Virtues of Nogales High

Vera, 17, lives in West Covina and is a senior at Nogales. She plans to attend Citrus College and Arizona State University, and major in journalism

I feel that after a rough sum of over 10 years, it is about time that someone speaks in defense of that "bad influence, gangbanger" Nogales High School in La Puente. In response to the many biased reporters, members of neighboring communities, etc., I would like to simply state "open your eyes!"

There are many reasons why many believe that Nogales High is a "bad" school. But how does one define bad? Location maybe? Simply, this is a matter of the community and not the faculty, teachers, students and, above all, the education that is taught. Other influences are, of course, gang-related activities.

May I remind those who fear to send their children to Nogales that the recent shooting occurred on the streets of Faxina and Highcastle, not far from the school, but not in a classroom.

For those of you who conveniently blame it on racial issues, this also is not the case. Although Hispanics are suspected in the drive-by, it could have been Filipinos, blacks, Caucasians, Samoans, and it still would be called gang-related and automatically pin-pointed to Nogales.

I find it very depressing that some parents refuse to accept Nogales for what we are really worth. Recently, the academic team, Odyssey of the Mind, won the World Championship in Tennessee. Our choir program has been successful for many years. The badminton team has been in first place for over 10 years. Our varsity football team has had its share of moments. Our yearbook and newspaper staff have taken their share of awards.

Ever heard of ballplayer Cecil Fielder? He graduated from Nogales. Another former graduate, Beverly Chan, appears in ads for Esprit. How many of you know that Emiko Isa is a senior from Nogales who is eligible for the National Merit Scholarship?

We are a very successful group of young people. I believe when the time comes that we take over the world's concerns, we as former graduates will be more successful because we have been exposed to many other wonderful cultures, customs, and perspectives than those who come from a predominantly Caucasian society, low-income society or otherwise.

You will hear from us years from now. If you don't, I will write another editorial to apologize. However, I certainly doubt that.

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