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Readers Respond -- Estancia High is not a 'dirty little secret'

December 11, 2001

This is regarding Tim Cromwell's disturbing letter ("Close Estancia

High and open a super school," Nov. 27).

First of all, I am an Estancia High student. I am a blond-haired,

blue-eyed "white girl" who plans to attend a good college. Last April, I

voluntarily transferred from Newport Harbor High School in the beautiful

"upper class" area of Newport Beach to, as Cromwell calls it, Mesa

Verde's "dirty little secret." Estancia is a wonderful school.

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Maybe the reason his "neighbors" or real estate agents don't want to

mention our school is due to their own prejudice. I can't even begin to

comprehend why anyone wouldn't want to send his or her student to

Estancia. Perhaps the parents mentioned in Cromwell's letter should focus

on teaching tolerance and cultural awareness before shipping them off to

some school where whites are the majority. In this day and age, why are

we trying to hide the fact that our city, not just Estancia High, has a

large Latino population that is a vital part of our community?

I have attended both Newport Harbor and Estancia, and I can say from

my personal experiences that not only is Estancia a better school, but it

is a culturally diverse environment that I am privileged to be a part of.

Newport Harbor may have a better reputation, but it is definitely not

as perfect as it seems. Transferring from Newport Harbor to Estancia has

not only helped me succeed academically, but has boosted my self-esteem

greatly. In my opinion, our city's "dirty little secret" might be Newport

Harbor.

Many kids there are ruthless and conceited, and some can be construed

as racist as well. The students make anyone whose parents are not lawyers

or doctors feel inferior. Cromwell says that he wants a "student body

that will have the ethnic mix that is of equal percentage to the city in

which it lies." Well, it's here at 2323 Placentia Ave. Come pay us a

visit.

At 14, I thought it was normal to drive a lifted Chevy Tahoe to school

every day. I felt like an outcast if my clothes weren't name brand or if

I wasn't wearing a Tiffany's bracelet. What kind of life is that? I came

to Estancia in hopes of getting away from the materialist society of

Newport Harbor, and I succeeded.

Estancia has provided me a wonderful, caring group of people,

students, teachers and staff that has helped to create a positive

environment that allows me to be myself. Estancia is not only an academic

institution, it is a place that has opened up my eyes to the "real" Costa

Mesa -- and isn't that what we're here for?

CLAIRISA MAYGREN

Costa Mesa

* EDITOR'S NOTE: Clairisa Maygren is an Estancia High School student.

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