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Opinion

Immigrant-friendly L.A. school is a nice contrast to the Trump-fueled anger on display in Cleveland

Belmont High
Belmont High student Gaspar Marcos, center, takes in a history lesson despite little sleep.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I congratulate The Times for its article on the immigrant students at Belmont High School, many of whom juggle full-time work and their studies. (“Nearly 1 in 4 students at this L.A. high school migrated from Central America — many without their parents,” July 15)

Your timing — during the Republican festival of racism, immigrant-demonizing and misogyny — couldn’t be better or more meaningful. This important story reminds us what courage is, what tenacity is, and how lucky we are to have these brave young people who embody the best American values here with us. The article shows what the mission of our schools should be.

Jo Perry, Studio City

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To the editor: Belmont High has been a safe haven for desperate young refugees for more than 70 years. 

My friend, author Henry Oster, was welcomed there when he arrived in 1946 from the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, still recovering from starvation. He came to America with no money, no education, no family and no English, but like other Holocaust refugees he thrived in Belmont’s unique multilingual, multicultural environment. 

Oster is still, at the age of 88, inspiring students with his story of hope and peace at the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance. His success in life — after a truly horrific childhood, in which he lost nearly everything a person can lose — was helped in no small part by the amazing staff and teachers at Belmont High.

Dexter Ford, Manhattan Beach

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