There's an alternative high school in Southern California that's considered a last resort for teenagers who have fallen so far behind in school credits that they have almost no chance of receiving a diploma. “The Bad Kids” follows three students struggling to graduate from Black Rock Continuation High School in Yucca Valley as they try to balance the pressures of school and home life. Some have tough situations at home, like parents who are abusing drugs or alcohol while others are parents themselves.
On Wednesday, March 8, KPCC In Person and PBS SoCal presented a screening of “The Bad Kids” followed by a conversation with education reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez and three young adults who attended alternative schools to get insights into their experiences — what worked, what didn’t, what they loved and what they would have done differently. Vincent Avila, Gabriel Perez and Michelle Diaz shared personal – and emotional – stories about the adults in their programs who made the difference for them. Lara Kain, senior director of Transform Schools, also spoke to what it takes to create and support community schools and caring educators. “The Bad Kids” will air on PBS SoCal on Monday, March 20.
Vincent Avila – After falling behind in credits, Avila began attending Metropolitan High School and artworxLA in 2015.
Michelle Diaz – An Upward Bound student who graduated from Manual Arts High school in 2016, Diaz now attends UC Riverside. She is the first in her family to attend college.
Gabriel Perez –While a student at Central High School/All People’s Branch, Perez participated in artworxLA programs at Art Center College of Design. He is now a quality control technician at BET.
KPCC In Person and PBS SoCal – working in conjunction with Indie Lens Pop-Up – present documentary films as a way to seed conversations with community members who bring unique and relevant insights to the subjects covered in the films.