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Alvarado Middle School May Change Name

A public hearing will be held tonight during the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting.

The New Haven campus known to the community for decades as Alvarado Middle School may soon go by a different name.

A public hearing on the possible name change will be held during tonight’s Board of Education meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Up for consideration is renaming the middle school after Filipino-American labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz.

According to the school district, Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz were contemporaries of Cesar Chavez who helped organize the 1965 Delano grape strike, which led to the United Farm Workers movement.

An online petition has been created in support of the name change.

From the petition:

Roughly, 1 in 5 students in the New Haven Unified School District are Filipino, and 1 in 3 people in Union City are Filipino. Changing the name of Alvarado Middle School would serve multiple purposes. One being that we can honor forgotten Filipino heroes Philip Vera Cruz and Larry Itliong, and their important roles in the fight for farm labor rights and civil liberties, work that reached the fields of Union City. Another reason is that we can potentially instill a great sense of pride and empower our large Filipino population, while also shining a light upon the past solidarity work of Filipino and Mexican people. It would be beneficial for all staff, parents, students and residents. Let's make history! 

But not everyone embraces the proposed name with open arms.

“Don't get me wrong, these men were great people and accomplished great things, but schools are a melting pot of kids from everywhere, and picking out two Filipino Men is not the right thing to do. Alvarado is a fine name and represents the history of the entire city, not just a single group,” resident Mark Hutchins wrote in an email.

The idea for naming a school after the Filipino-American leaders came last year when the Itliong-Vera Cruz name was submitted for the district’s independent study school. The school board instead went with the Decoto School for Independent Study.

Following the decision last August, school board members said they would consider naming another New Haven campus in honor of the Filipino community.

The topic is now up for discussion tonight.

The public hearing will be held 7:30 p.m. at the New Haven Unified School District office located at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Rd.

Are you in favor of renaming Alvarado Middle School after the Filipino leaders? Tell us in the comments below.

Ed April 09, 2013 at 05:47 AM
This sure is interesting. Is the survey the district's attempt at a "thurough study" as stated in the board policy that everyone but a few community members have ignored? A thurough study, defined as: "executed without negligence or omissions", would also involve an accurate acounting of the cost, not the low estimate of $10,000 the district has given. There is no way to confirm how many singular or dublicate names are on the petition, and I'm willing to guess some people have signed both the for and against petitions. What I'm still waiting to hear from either the board or one of the groups behind the name change is what is the extraordinary circumstance required by the board policy in order to change the name of an existing school along with where the thurough study can be found.
Edward April 09, 2013 at 05:49 AM
Name: Lorna Lardizabal Dietz on Feb 28, 2013 Comments: I am the Regional Chair of the NaFFAA Region 8 (National Federation of Filipino American Associations in Northern CA), for identification purposes only. We wholeheartedly support DIVERSITY IN ACTION through this Re-Naming Effort. The NaFFAA Region 8 Media Group (connecting media + community) has rolled out its supportive online efforts to instigate off-line actions. http://naffaar8.com/naffaa-region-8-supports-re-naming-of-school-to-itliong-vera-cruz-middle-school/ Let's support the communities in the New Haven Unified School District who are spearheading this effort! coppied from http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/support_the_renaming/signatures.. Outsiders are trying to Change the name also.
Edward April 14, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Hey Kids!!~ lets name that school!!! Lets see what funny names we can call the Middle Schools of Union City. Lets start with Cesar Chavez Middle School. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9sar_Ch%C3%A1vez How About "Lit'le Ceasars" after the Pizzas they try to bribe us with. http://www.littlecaesars.com/home.aspx. And how about the New name for the west side middle school they want to name Lary Itliong ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/us/larry-itliong-forgotten-filipino-labor-leader.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&; ) and Philip Vera Cruz ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Vera_Cruz ) Both were contrivercial like Marajuana so we could call it "Itchy BONG" because the school board must be "smoking something" to be so itch to change the name. Just look at all the posters of these guys to know they wanted change and nothing like implying legalization of marajuana to embody their revolutionary spirit. http://legalizationofmarijuana.com/ Hey Kids, It's your school. You Name the school for the 4 years you are there, then, the next Class gets to re-name it.
Michael Balgas April 18, 2013 at 06:19 PM
this is pure racism from a school who has always been biased towards Filipino students. who is footing the bill for the stationary changes sign changes we are the taxpayers that's who! instead of buying books or new computers our money is being used to fuel the fires of racism. the land the school sits on was donated by the Alvarado's and now you want to change it to appease your racist nature. this board needs to be replaced because they are not making smart decisions with our money!
Edward April 18, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Look this up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvarado,_California You will see the Historic name is being pushed out of the way by the Minority Pinoy Comunity just to show power over the rest of us. Pinoy Power VS AMS Cougars

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