With award-winning media adviser Jennifer Kim on administrative leave, it appears Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) and San Gabriel High School (SGHS) administration have taken liberties to clear out Kim’s desk in publications classroom H2 and did some extra cleaning as well.
When publications students returned to their classroom on Aug. 24 after having been relocated for six days, they did not just find Kim’s desk cleared out along with the cabinets behind it; they also discovered that a microwave, the radio, and a Hannah Montana cardboard cutout were gone. Student articles taped onto the cabinets on one side of the room were also removed. Newspaper student summons slips were also replaced with office summons slips. These were just some of the sentimental and educational items removed from the room that staffers noticed.
“What used to be a sea of papers that our adviser called her desk was barren,” Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Matador Cassandra Chen said on Aug. 26 at an Alhambra Unified School District board meeting. “Cabinets and drawers full of examples of great journalism were emptied. Everything that made it feel like a second home to our journalists was nowhere to be found.”
Staffers are left puzzled as they were not informed why the room was partially cleared out, similar to how they were not informed that Kim was placed on administrative leave.
“H2 seems to be empty,” staff writer and summer multimedia editor Thomas Wang said. “On a physical level, H2 is devoid of all the materials that once made it H2. The microwave, papers on Ms. Kim’s desk, the supplies on the shelves were all cleared out. This was questionable because it seemed that the District cleared out personal possession and put it under lock. It’s almost like the police confiscating evidence from a criminal. It felt wrong and illegal to me.”
With the controversy that surrounded The Matador and Jennifer Kim this summer, community members hope that staffers will be able to get to the bottom of this.