Overnight on September 13, a group of students representing Las Lomas Reform, an organization advocating for cultural reform in The Acalanes Union High School District, went to Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek overnight to put up cardboard signs around the school.
Las Lomas Reform was formed in early June. According to their Instagram account, they’re dedicated to “organizing for the permanent institutional & cultural reform of AUHSD to protect BIPOC and marginalized identities from enduring trauma on campus.”
“We know the power of artistic activism and visual demonstration. Las Lomas has not been a safe place for many students, so it was appropriate to decorate the unsafe space with students’ testimonies and the community’s demands,” a representative from Las Lomas Reform said.
In early September, they posted on their story, asking if students wanted to help with a ‘secret project.’ They drew up dozens of signs and, with the help of a photographer, captured pictures of their finished project. The posters included messages such as “Stop protecting predators,” and “Sexual predators don’t belong on campus,” referring to the sexual misconduct allegations towards drama teacher Taron Hensley.
“I have been trying to document any type of protest, civil unrest, or political gathering/assembly,” photographer Trevor Heinrich said, “I thought it was important for other people to hear what they were saying.” Heinrich filmed a video exhibiting the finished project dubbed ‘Decorating Las Lomas,’ reading the cardboard signs and chalk messages around campus.
“Las Lomas Reform seems to have established more credibility and built more trust with the student parent community than the district administrators have, and they are the one making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” the representative said, “We may be young, but we are brave, we are many, and we will not be silent. Change is coming to AUHSD. Teachers and administrators can embrace it or move out of our way. Students, we are here for you!”