Subscribe for 33¢ / day

Changing graduation requirements gives hope

Our teacher asked about our thoughts toward high school students trying to change graduation requirements to A-G requirements, so everyone could have the option to apply to universities.

I liked the idea, so I shared, “I didn’t want to go to a university until the middle of high school, but by then it was too late, and I wished I was put on track like my graduation status depended on it.”

My classmate shared his opinion too. “I don’t mean to dis Lourdes, but if you’re not A-G then that’s kind of your fault for being lazy. No one’s ready for college freshman year, but I still did everything just in case I wanted to go.”

His words stuck with me because when I said “I didn’t want to go to college,” I lied. I am an undocumented student, and my mother kept me from dreaming big because she thought I couldn’t go to college and I believed it too. At the end of my sophomore year I watched my undocumented brother start college in summer and watching him go to college was like watching the first black president get elected, the future glimmered.

My classmate also referred to those students who weren’t “A-G” as lazy. I had D’s or F’s in six of my A-G classes during the first two years and in my third year I fixed five of them online during summer, and after school. Lazy did not describe me. The beginning of my senior year, I had one class left. I took my time because I wanted to challenge myself with my advance placement classes. I had seven more hours of work left to complete my A-G requirements as I applied for universities, but then the online class was refreshed and less than one fourth of my progress was recovered, the rest was gone.

The idea of graduation requirements becoming A-G requirements caused an explosion of happiness in me for future students. If the movement goes through, “just trying to get through high school” may lead to “maybe I’ll go to a university now.”

Lourdes Ramirez Morelos

Santa Maria

Problems at the border

In a recent article about Trump’s tariffs, Jorge Castaneda, former foreign Minister of Mexico, stated, "Why should Mexico halt marijuana shipments across our border?”

Is marijuana cultivation and trafficking legal in Mexico? No. Why should you stop it coming across both your borders? Because, as with cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, they are vital to the economy of Mexico.

Same with the immigrants from below the southern Mexican border. Why should we stop them from going to the U.S.? Well, Amnesty International reported that up to 60 percent of undocumented women going through Mexico are sexually assaulted. Mr. Castenada might consider that a good reason to intercept them. To maybe help them?

With the issues with drugs that Mexico has, and whole cities being corrupt, you say, "It's not our problem.”

There was also a published report about the stolen American cars being in Mexico. Nothing being done about that either.

Mr. Castaneda’s statements are ridiculous.

Robert Jones

Santa Maria

Get breaking news sent instantly to your inbox

Jobs depend on climate

A recent letter said we need more oil production for jobs and the economy.

Really? Even if taking more carbon out of the ground and burning it destroys the climate that supports everything, including capitalism?

Without a stable, supporting climate with just the right temperature range, capitalism, mankind and all our activities cease, according to NASA, top climate scientists, the National Academy of Science, the International Panel on Climate Change, and many more authorities.

Yes, jobs and the local economy are important, but certainly not at any price.

We need to switch to a strong, carbon-free energy source, and quickly.

William Gloege

Santa Maria