San Jose

Alum Rock Union Elementary School District Students Participate in Walkout

About 400 students in San Jose's Alum Rock Union Elementary School District on Thursday walked out of class in a symbolic gesture meant to echo the feelings of community members who believe that the district is operating off track.

Many parents have been showing up in force at previous district board meetings which they say have been dysfunctional.

The district was subject to a six-month state audit that found poor governance and board micromanagement. The audit also found that the district has no plan for a $25 million loan repayment.

Most recently, Superintendent Hilaria Bauer and the board battled over her evaluation which she wanted done in public. It was ultimately done behind closed doors.

When speaking about the expected walkout, Bauer said she wants the students in class.

"We want them to be learning," she said. "So the place where they learn is at school. That's where the powerful conversations can be held."

Parent Olivia Ortiz wants her child to be in the classrom, but she's willing to sacrifice some school time if it results in change.

"I want our kids in school," she said. "We want that, for sure. But then, as a parent, as a mom, I have my kid in first grade here at this school, I’d rather him lose half a day of school than lose his eight years without having the right resources for his education."

The student walkout is planned for 12:30 p.m. Thursday on what is a minimum day. That means students will miss about an hour to 1 1/2 hours of school.

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