UEAALDF's Intervention into the
Los Angeles Public Schools Desegregation Case

Declaration of Issamar Camacho

1. I have throughout my life experienced the inequality and segregation of the Los Angeles public schools.

2. I was enrolled into Miles Ave. Elementary school when I was 5, and attended the school up to the beginning of my 5th grade year. I had to move to a majority white school for the last half of my fifth grade year. I did not actually interact with a student who was not Latino until I was ten years old and was enrolled into this school.

3. My shock was immediate upon entering the school. I was one of three Latino students in the school. I had just come from an elementary school that was so over populated that it had tracks, and where there was only one black student, everyone else was Latino.

4. The usual size of my classes in Miles Elementary was from 30 to 34 students. In my new school there was a class size limit of about 22 students. The school had just been renovated, and we had all the materials we needed. In half a year of being in this class I got to learn more about geography, computers, and literature than in a whole year in Miles. Everyone in my class had an opportunity to use the computers upon need, while in my old elementary school we had to share computers because most of the computers did not work.

5. Why was it that this school had so many more things than my old school? I had often asked myself in my old school if it was correct that we had broken desks; that we had to share computers, and take turns with the mouse. I knew there were people of other races, but why was everyone in my school Latino? By attending this majority white school I realized that it wasnít right that we were relegated to such unequal conditions, and that we deserved better than what we were receiving. The only difference between my old school and my new school was that the majority of the people in my old school were Latinos, and the majority of the people in my new school were white. I felt the full impact of this revelation. This meant that this society thought that we didnít deserve to have the same opportunities as those white students did because we were Latinos. Because we are Latinos there must be an assumption that we are less that those white students, and therefore we deserve less.

6. I entered my neighborhood Middle School in sixth grade, and went back to being subjected to the worst conditions of segregated and unequal education in Los Angeles.

7. The magnet and PWT programs are the only opportunity for Latino students to get an adequate, and deserving education; an education where you are treated like an equal to everyone in this society, and where you are told and shown that you can be a leader.

8. In Magnet schools every student, no matter how poor, or how many obstacles they have, can be nurtured to their full capacity, and where they can learn their true power.

9. This attack on the magnet and busing programs in LAUSD are direct attacks on the Latino community, and its potential leadership. It is a completely racist attack, that is aimed at slaughtering the soul of the Latino community, and its prospects.

10. If these programs are dismantled there will be explosions in Los Angeles. The people of Los Angeles will not stand for the doors to their futures to be closed without a fight. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. This declaration was executed in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 2006.

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ISSAMAR CAMACHO