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Why 145 Students are Working

Megan Carpenter | Cowboy Life Editor


Teacher Thomas Curl said he has handed out 145 work permits to students this school year. And that’s not all, he stated – many students at Livermore High School are working without work permits. Seniors like Mattie McKnight, Martin Vega, and Annie Tran have jobs out of high school. While all agree it can be hard work, they also believe their jobs offer important life experience.

McKnight, Art Director of El Vaquerito, is a host at the Mexican restaurant Casa Orozco, where she seats diners. Here, she works three to five hours Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, totaling 12 hours a week. She is also a helper at Wente Vineyards, where she carries out boxes of wine for customers and cleans the patio. At Wente McKnight works six-hour shifts on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays, totaling 18 hours a week. McKnight said, “We don’t have a lot of money in our family, so everything I get, I buy myself.” People who work hard to support their families don’t grow up taking things for granted, McKnight added. On weekdays, she does not get home until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. McKnight said, “I don’t get a lot of sleep because I have to finish my homework.”

But for Vega, football player and LHS Homecoming King, working isn’t so stressful. He spends his weekend cashiering at Taqueria Los Caporales on Railroad Avenue. On Saturdays, he works from 4:00 p.m. until closing around 11:00 p.m. On Sundays, he works from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. He has done various jobs including washing the dishes and cleaning the restrooms for seven years. His father, who also works at Los Caporales, is a good friend of the manager. Vega said, “Because it’s sort of like a family business, it’s not really like work for me.” Vega added he especially loves the free food.

Tran, who has acted in various LHS productions, works four hours a week at Old Navy in San Francisco Premium Outlets. When the store first opened August last year, Tran worked a total of twenty hours a week. Now, she works four hours a week. Tran said she works to gain both experience and independence. Tran explained, “Every month I volunteer to give my mother $100 of my wage so that she can go buy herself something nice….I know that her allowance does not allow her to go buy clothing or go shopping. I want her to get the joy of that.”

Thomas Curl said he does not receive information about students considering their reasons for working. Still, there are students on the LHS campus who work not only to gain skill and independence, but to also support their families.

*Credit: Annie Tran

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Remember, Remember a Monday in November...

Joshua Davisson | Staff Writer


Livermore High School’s (LHS) administration has created a new program called Monday School as an alternative to in-house suspension. Monday School is just like the Breakfast Club’s Saturday school. It will be held in the Isolated Contained Education (ICE) house, or room 123,  from 3:15 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. This way, discipline does not pull student out of class and interfere with learning as does a regular or in-house suspension. Dayna Taylor, a vice principal at LHS, believes this policy is beneficial for students because it has been proven successful at her last school, San Ramon Valley High School.

Taylor said that no new rules are being added, but the system has been streamlined. In the past, if a student missed detention, they would be suspended during school hours, reducing the student’s performance in school. Starting Monday, December 8, students who miss detention will have their parents contacted, and they will set to Monday school. This allows students to attend school and keep up with their classes, yet still receive disciplinary action. If the student does not attend Monday School, they are then assigned to in-house suspension during school hours.

In addition, to attend Monday School, a student’s parent has to sign the approval form, which opens communication between the administration, the student, and their parents. This is intended to encourage better behavior and fix problems the student might have.

During detention, assignments that allow students to reflect upon their behavior in a constructive manner will be handed out. Taylor states that this will cause students to think and improve themselves personally.

According to Taylor, Monday school will help LHS become a better school as a whole with less punitive discipline policies and a more constructive learning base. This will hopefully reduce the amount of harsh disciplinary action and help many teens become functional members of our school’s society.


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