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8th grader fights Alhambra Unified in YouTube video

Another YouTube video spurred controversy surrounding the Alhambra Unified School District. Four days after a woman posted a video accusing a former Alhambra High School administrator of sexual abuse, an eighth grade student posted a video claiming her permit to attend an AUSD school was revoked after she protested the construction of a fence around the campus.

Maia Wu, 13, posted Jan. 21 a video, entitled "Student Body President Asks to be Allowed to Attend School," in which she claims that AUSD administrators revoked permits for her and two of her siblings to attend Monterey Highlands Elementary School, which is outside of their home district in Los Angeles. Wu claims the move is retaliation for the family's summer protests of the school board’s decision to install fences around the school. 

On Jan. 17, Wu received a letter from the school board saying that she, along with her 11-year-old sister and 8-year-old brother, could no longer attend Monterey Highlands starting Jan. 30 based on their “unwillingness to cooperate with school officials and abide by district policies and procedures,” the Pasadena Star-News reports. The Wus appealed the permit revocation but lost.

While school officials are aware of the video, they deny Wu's claims, the Star-News reports. “The District cannot go into detail regarding the circumstances here, but denies that it retaliated or that the transfer permits were inappropriately revoked,” AUSD Superintendent Laura Tellez-Gagliano said in a statement to the Star-News.

“I was kicked out because I am a free-thinker and can think for myself. I was kicked out because I am not afraid to be heard,” Wu said in the video’s description. “I want to learn in an environment that welcomes free thinkers and welcomes opposing view points as a positive means to perpetuate the democratic process. If this is the current environment, we will produce children who live in fear of authority and not have the ability to think for themselves and will only use ideals given by higher authorities rather than trying to formalize their own.”

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12 thoughts on “8th grader fights Alhambra Unified in YouTube video”

  1. Congratulations to the Alhambra Unified School District for getting rid of this TROUBLE MAKER family. No school should need approval from students to build a fence. This kid and her parents should be so grateful for having been accepted in a great school that is concerned about their safety. Now she and her siblings have the choice to be homeschooled where they won’t have fences around them. Let’s see if their mom now lets them post their complaints on her house walls.

  2. I’m very shocked at some of the responses here. So many people calling them “guests” in the district or worse “free loaders?” Seriously?! California is a right to choose state, that means you get to choose your school. They had a permit to attend. They were not lying about their real residence like MANY people seem to do and went about things through the proper channels making their enrollment entirely legitimate.

    So why should it matter where they are living if they are actually involved with the school like ALL families enrolled in AUSD should be? Shame on the Alhambra School District. Their enrollment procedures are ridiculous, as someone who has lived here for several years and had issues enrolling my son in AHS, I can tell you that common sense and basic human understanding are currently lacking in our current administrators and judging from the responses here I’d say from some of the residents too.

    1. I’m not sure where you came up with the “right to choose” concept regarding California schools but I would like to see either:
      1. Case citation
      2. State law
      3. Education code

      My guess is that you have either misread the law or making it up as you going along. Based upon your premise, permits are not necessary because you can attend a school in any district that you so choose. This is so patently incorrect that I am concerned what other misinformation is being spread. If you actually watched the video, the mom is a “lightning rod” for trouble (even accusing board members of criminal behavior) and the district is better off without the family. Also, my guess is that, had a fence NOT been erected and a “Sandyhook-style” shooting occur, the family would be the first to file a lawsuit against the district because the students were not adequately protected. Good riddance!

      1. You can apply to any district you choose, it doesn’t always mean you get in, I am aware that its up to local districts how many non-resident students they accept. My point is they have a legitimate claim to being where they were enrolled, because they had gone through the proper channels and had a permit. People calling them guests are missing the point. I would like to know the real reason why they chose to remove them from the school if it had nothing to do with their protests. We may not like what people have to say, but we have no right to tell them they can’t say it. You may not agree with the family’s views but sweeping them out of the district this way just makes the school board look petty.

  3. I have no affiliation with the school district, and I don’t think they are without fault, but– My guess is the school put up the fence for the protection of the school against potential dangers. Also, it may be necessary to keep some students with elopement issues safely inside. The school has liability concerns. It’s not all about this girl, Maia and her family’s concerns.

    If she and her mother have had so many problems with the district and school, then it’s an indication that they need to find a new school and district with a better fit anyway.

    As someone else posted, the fact is that you are a guest of the district, whether you like that or not.

  4. I agree and disagree young lady. You a very bright young lady, but too bright for your own good. Know your boundaries and understand that not all things revolve around you. In life you will always be told what to do, this is part of being an American.

    Now concerning the Alhambra District, they are wicked! I have worked with them hands on and this is so much like them. Choose your battles, they did allow you in the district-your role should be to learn and graduate. You are too young to enter in this fight over a silly fence.

    Lastly, you must learn to follow first before you can lead! Humble yourself, and in due time God will lift you up. We need to go back to one Nation under GOD, and be people that know how to submit to authority. Your parents voice should be on here and you support them, they are the leaders of your household.

  5. It is true that many of the operational funds are coming from State and Local funds but it’s part of the complicated school funding systems that takes local property taxes, sends them to the state level and then pushes them back into local school districts at ‘equal’ levels to ensure some type of fairness in school funding between areas with different property tax levels.

    That said, the local district funds the school uses are real and many come from selling bonds paid for with local property taxes.

    Can we have clarification about where the Wu family lives?

    1. Thanks for your question, Adam, and for all your comments everyone. To clarify, the Wu family lives in Los Angeles, according to the Pasadena Star-News.

  6. This is so wrong in so many ways. I find no justification in the actions of the Alhambra Unified School District. This bright girl is a model for her fellow students and for all of us who believe in speaking out and believe in fair play. What exactly did she do wrong to merit this treatment? I have signed the petition and hope the district reconsiders their mean spirited retaliation against free speech. A black mark against Alhambra Unified and a sad day for justice.

  7. Alhambra “democracy” in action.

    1. She is a guess at this School. If her parents wanted her to go to this school they should have moved in to the area where this school is. It’s the tax from Alhambra that pays for her schooling. So she and her brother and sister are free loading on the System. This girl is very smart and could do a lot for the school in the area where she lives. If your not paying for the school tax in Alhambra then you have nothing to say.

      1. Technically the funds paying for her education are state and federal monies, not local… Bright girl, but I am surprised her parents continued down that path when it was clear their position was not welcome. She is a guest in the district. Doesn’t mean it’s right.. But if a guest comes into my home, they don’t get to tell me how to run it. If the family was a resident, different story.