STOCKTON (CBS13) — Students and faculty at Cesar Chavez High School have been fighting to improve the school’s reputation since a viral video showed a student and a teacher in a brawl.
The fight between the 15-year-old and instructor gained national attention, and not the kind students like Andre Oliva wanted.
“The stereotype is that we are a lot of drug dealing drug using very—how you say?—violent and unkempt people,” he said.
For almost a year now, Cesar Chavez students and faculty have worked to move on from the negative attention and improve their image.
Principal William Nelson says that means giving students like Taylor Caldwell a chance to become leaders.
“Students have really cleaned up their act it seems like they personally want to do better,” Caldwell said.
He’s part of Restorative Justice, a program giving students a chance to help their classmates correct bad behavior before landing in the principal’s office.
It’s just one of many of the school’s programs, and Nelson says it’s working.
“I don’t think there’s a magic formula it’s just everyone taking ownership,” he said.
So far this school near no students have been expelled, and more students than ever have made the honor roll.
“Once it happened, the kids really said that’s not who we are, the staff said that’s not who we are, and that’s what really helped us move forward,” Nelson said.