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  • In the morning of Sept. 23, 2023, members of the Ventura  County Community gathered together at the Collection in Oxnard, Calif. to celebrate and support those with Alzheimers and other dementia. Hosted by the Alzheimers Association, the Walk to End Alzheimers event was a huge success raising over $107,000 towards ending Alzheimers, along with connecting the community.


    Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Photo Essay

  • An enormous, eye-catching paper mache octopus is situated at the start of the ArtWalk exhibition on Main St., Ventura, greeting attendees as they enter the event. Inspired by Ventura’s natural environment, this work of art highlights the abundance of sea creatures that call our oceans home.


    ArtWalk: Showcasing Ventura’s creative crowd

  • As students start to settle into the new school year, exciting activities planned in the quad help keep the morale high. Foothill Techs sports teams have started to pick up speed and students are now settling into their classes.


    FDP-TV: Season 2, Episode 3

  • A scenario thats unfortunately all too common in modern gaming is a videogame having a less than stellar launch. However, there are times when the developer has the luxury to go back and turn the game into a respectable piece of media, such as No Mans Sky.


    When a videogame redeems itself

  • Also referred to as a red tide or an algae bloom, the brilliant blue waves are caused by phytoplankton that emit blue light when disturbed. In previous years the event has been rare to find, occurring sparsely. Recently, primarily during the summer of 2023, bioluminescent waves could be seen splashing the shores of Ventura County.


    Bioluminescence: Wonders of the bright blue ocean

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) Girls Volleyball took a devastating loss of 3-1 in a league game against Bishop Diego High School. Students, Addi Fallon 25, Zac Crist 24 and Petra Falcocchia 24, show their support with colorful face paint. Many students also dressed to the theme of the game, which was cowboys and cowgirls.

    Girls' Volleyball

    Girls’ volleyball beat by Bishop Diego 1-3 in hard fought game

  • Throughout the city of Ventura, pollution is washed down to the beaches through rivers and gutters, depositing cups, bags and other various trash onto our beaches and into the oceans.


    Just how deadly is stormwater runoff?

  • The charming exterior of Butter and Fold attracts many customers at all hours of business. From the elegant teal and gold color scheme to the waft of freshly baked breads, it’s impossible to simply pass by without taking a peek inside.


    Butter and Fold: The perfect place to satisfy your pastry cravings this fall

  • At the Olivas Links Golf Course, on Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls golf team faced off in a league match against Bishop Diego. The Dragons played well and won the match with an overall score of 249-303. Pictured above, Maddie Wicks 26 concentrates as she putts her ball toward the pin, finishing hole five with three over par.

    Girls' Golf

    Recap: Girls’ golf takes Bishop Diego 249-303

  • On Sept. 22, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) competed in their first Tri-County Athletic (TCAA) league meet. Foothill Tech races with five girls on varsity, including Danika Swanson-Rico 25, Bennett Rodman 26, Kalea Eggertsen 26, Emma Anderson 26 and Isabella Efner 25. They warm-up on the start line, exchanging words of encouragement and waiting for the queue to begin the race.

    Cross Country

    Cross country starts off strong at first league meet of the 2023 season

  • With beloved melodies and nostalgic anthems dating back over a decade, fans and general audience members alike enjoy singing along to her award-winning album, Fearless, from 2008.


    The Eras Tour: an adventure spanning 17 years of music 

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys water polo hosted a home game against their opponent Malibu High School (Malibu). With lots of splashing, Ethan Ortiz 24 attempts to find an open teammate to give Foothill Tech an advantage to win their league match.

    Boys' Water Polo

    Recap: Boys’ water polo bested by Malibu

  • Students of Foothill Tech try to make button pins of their own design at Back to School Night. This college and career class provides an opportunity to learn life skills and creativity.


    Foothill Tech welcomes parents and guardians at Back to School Night 2023

  • In the teen show “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” an adaption of the popular Young Adult novel, protagonist Belly Conklin navigates her love life in a triangle between brothers Jeremiah and Conrad Fisher.


    “The Summer I Turned Pretty”: In Defense of the Fisher Boys

  • During F.I.R.E and lunch, members of the Associated Student Body worked hard to prepare an assembly line of delicious In-N-Out for the Class of 2024.


    Class of 2024 connects through In-N-Out Burger and festivities

  • On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 19, 2023 girls tennis played against the Villanova Preparatory (Villanova) School Wildcats. The tennis team huddles together and chants in a pregame ritual before beginning their matches.

    Girls' Tennis

    Girls’ tennis triumphs over Villanova in first league match

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the much anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed and beloved video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Announced in 2019 by Nintendo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12, 2023 after nearly four years of waiting. Since its release, the game has been met with widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The game directly follows the events of its predecessor, building upon them and expanding an already immense world. Writer Kelly Quinn shares his thoughts.


    “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is victory for gaming

  • The three cakes that were reviewed were Lemon, Pumpkin Spice and Red Velvet all topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.


    A dive into Nothing Bundt Cakes: America’s largest specialty cake company

  • Comprising of 12 songs, Olivia Rodrigos new album GUTS is her second studio album and was released on Sept. 8, 2023. Rodrigos first studio album, SOUR, released in 2021, was critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, making her second album long anticipated. Writer Isheeta Pal takes on the task of listening to GUTS and reviewing it, delving into its key themes and messaging.


    Album Anatomy: “GUTS”

  • A sign displayed in the store highlights the unique vendors in the store as well as promoting shopping from local artists.


    Hey! Friends shows Ventura why shopping locally matters

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ACLU believes AB 1575 ensures all students free, equal education

The Foothill Dragon Press interviewed the director of education advocacy of the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union about AB 1575. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
The Foothill Dragon Press interviewed the director of education advocacy of the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union about AB 1575. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
Districts across California, including Ventura Unified School District, are feeling the impacts of Assembly Bill 1575.
AB 1575 reinforces old legislation from the California Constitution regarding free education. The bill creates a complaint system and consequences for schools and teachers who impose fees upon students. 
Brooks Allen, director of education advocacy of the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, was interviewed about AB 1575. 

Dragon Press: Could you clearly explain what AB 1575 is and how it is related to the lawsuit you have filed?

Allen: So, AB 1575 is a piece of legislation that Governor Brown just signed this Saturday, and it will become effective on Jan. 1. It’s a Bill that was designed to provide the remedy we were seeking in the lawsuit that our offices, the California affiliates, across the state of California [filed], which sought to ensure that the Free School Guarantee which has been in our California constitution since 1879.
[It] is a meaningful promise to all California students, and this is an area of the law which has been very clear whenever the courts have looked at this, or the Attorney General, or the State Department of Education — everyone agrees [about] what the laws means, and to use the words of the California Supreme Court, “free means free.”
But unfortunately, we had started to see, leading up the the lawsuit, dozens and dozens of districts across the state starting to charge students for things as basic and essential as textbooks, the right to even enroll in class, lab fees and so on.
Our lawsuit was an effort to ensure that the state is responsible for ensuring that all students have a free education and an equal education for all students. And Assembly Bill 1575 does that by ensuring that all school districts… will receive regular guidances from the State Department of Education with respect to the rules about the free school guarantee.
Parents and students at all public schools every year will get information about the free school guarantee and what to do if they believe this is being violated. This establishes a local complaint process building on the existing uniform complaint process, so that if a student or parent has a concern about a fee that they believe is unconstitutional, they can use that very simple, easy-to-use complaint process at their school to bring it to the attention of the officials there. And, if they believe that school officials don’t respond accordingly and remedy the problem, they can appeal to the State Department of Education.

Explain how this is going to be beneficial to all students in California?

Allen: The Free School Guarantee was put into the California constitution really in recognizing the fact that the foundation of our democracy is ensuring that all children have equal access to education that is necessary to go on and succeed and pursue the American Dream. And, ensuring that the Free School Guarantee is meaningful and that its [California’s] schools really are free, continues to ensure that all students regardless of their family’s financial status and income are able to exercise their right to education on an equal basis. It gives everyone an equal chance to succeed

Your critics have been saying that this lawsuit has been negatively impacting the middle class, with budget cuts and fees we could still have some field trips, but with more cuts and little to no funding, schools are forced to offer little to no extracurricular activities. Could you respond to those critics?

Allen: Who are those critics?

Many parents who feel that they are able to pay for certain  field trips and they feel their student is being denied opportunities because they can still pay for it but because others can’t, their child cannot go.

Allen: Without seeing the criticism specifically, if it is as you relay it, one thing that has always been clear… this isn’t a change in the law. In fact, AB 1575 doesn’t change the law at all with respect to what can and can’t be charged.
Now, if some districts were out of compliance with the law before, they paid attention to it as a result of this law being introduced, that’s another issue. But with respect to a situation where someone says ‘Well, can’t we go on a field trip?’ You absolutely can, and most districts have demonstrated they can protect multiple children’s constitutional right to a free and public education while also fundraising to make these kinds of activities possible.
We at the ACLU have been at the forefront for fighting for additional funds for all public schools, and are even doing that with respect to propositions currently on the ballot now, propositions 30 and 38. But, we think that where districts have taken a close look at this, they have been able to solve that dilemma. They’ve been able to ensure that all students have equal[ity].
So, as an example, going back to your field trip hypothetical, if a district says we need to raise $5,000 in order for all students in this class to go on that field trip, they can do that and they can ask for voluntary donation and contributions and they can raise that $5,000. What they can’t do is to tell student that it if that field trip – and again there are a lot of specific rules for specific types of field trips, so it’s hard to say anything categorically – but let’s say a field trip is a part of that class where that class is expected to [go], that’s part of the educational activity that everyone goes on this, that law has always said you can’t deny a student the ability to go simply because they can’t pay a fee, so they can fundraise for it they can make donations. But, you can’t tell some student that they get left behind because they can’t pay.
Our public schools are built on the notion that we all have equal access, and we can’t start to partial out opportunity based on who can provide more additional funds. But we can, as a community, and as a school community, fundraise for an aggregate goal so that everyone can have access to certain activities and programs that may have been cut based on the state’s budget.

I would like to be able to point out some of these specific instances where these district have done this to show that these are solvable issues, can you show me and examples of this fundraising being successful?

Allen: I think you can look almost anywhere, any district that has not been subject to concerns about violating students’ rights who has continued to have field trips clearly has found a remedy. It’s a little bit difficult because it’s the inverse, it’s asking where are things still working. So, anywhere that still has field trips and is not violating student constitutional rights has managed to do it.

Editor’s note: Because Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 1575 into effect, the ACLU has begun the process of dismissing their lawsuit. 
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