KABC reporter Sandy Wells

A radio reporter attempting to interview the principal of a publicly funded school backed by radical groups that lay claim to the Southwestern U.S says he was chased down and tackled at the campus today, apparently by order of the principal.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Unified School District officials say they are conducting an investigation of the “performance” and “culture” of the Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School.

Sandy Wells of KABC in Los Angeles was turned away at the school’s front desk this morning when he tried to talk to founder and principal Marcos Aguilar.

As WorldNetDaily reported, Aguilar indicated in a recent interview he believes in racial segregation and sees his school as part of a larger cultural “struggle.” Chartered by the district in 2001, the institution is backed by MEChA, a radical student group with the stated goal of returning the American Southwest to Mexico. KABC radio host Doug McIntyre has been investigating the school for the past three weeks.

Aguilar has not responded to WND’s request for comment.

Wells, equipped with a KABC mic and recorder, said that when he inquired at the school’s office about interviewing Aguilar, he was told the principal was not in and did not want to talk.

The reporter asked the four or five black-garbed guards stationed outside for permission to interview parents as they arrived at the school with their children but was denied.


Principal Marcos Aguilar

Then, according to Wells, a Dodge Magnum abruptly pulled up on the sidewalk, causing the reporter to jump out of the way.

A large Hispanic man with a shaved head, about 25, leaped out of the vehicle and chased Wells down the street, tackled him and demanded the tape.

Wells, shaken up with his clothes torn but uninjured, said he turned over the tape, which had only ambient sound.

The guards offered no help, the reporter noted.

Wells said the attacker told him he didn’t work for the school.

As Wells drove away, he noticed he was being tailed by a black SUV. The reporter called into McIntyre’s show and was put on the air, hoping the exposure would prompt his pursuer to back off. The SUV eventually pulled away.

The man who tackled Wells accused the reporter of being “sneaky.” But Wells insisted he was at the school with his press credentials and KABC mic in full view and had asked permission to conduct the interviews.

In a previous conversation with Aguilar, Wells said the principal, who was speaking about death threats made to the school, warned him to “watch his back.”

A caller to McIntyre’s show this morning, identifying himself as Ricardo, said he was with Aguilar when the principal gave the order to get the tape from Wells.

Ricardo explained he works for a lawyer who is looking into acquiring a temporary restraining order against KABC on the school’s behalf.

Ricardo said he believes the intention of the school is to provide an environment in which the radical MEChA can teach its beliefs and policies.

McIntyre said he’s been unable to get an explanation from Los Angeles Unified School District officials as to how the school was allowed to be chartered.

However, the radio host’s producer, John Phillips, provided WND with a copy of a statement provided by district press deputy Shannon Murphy, saying a “review” is under way.

 

“The Los Angeles Unified School District is currently undergoing a through review of Academia Semillas Del Pueblo’s charter operations, including its academic programs. The District’s Program Evaluation and Research Branch spent at least two weeks at the school observing classroom discussion and collecting data regarding student performance and school culture. The District is currently reviewing the findings and a report is forthcoming.”

‘Don’t drink from white fountain’

Aguilar, interviewed recently by an online educational journal, Teaching to Change L.A., doesn’t think much of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that desegregated American schools.

He simply doesn’t want to integrate with white institutions.

“We don’t want to drink from a white water fountain, we have our own wells and our natural reservoirs and our way of collecting rain in our aqueducts,” he said.

The issue of civil rights, Aguilar continued, “is all within the box of white culture and white supremacy. We should not still be fighting for what they have. We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger.”

Ultimately, he said, the “white way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction. And so it isn’t about an argument of joining neo liberalism, it’s about us being able, as human beings, to surpass the barrier.”

Aguilar said his school is not a response to problems in the public school system, as it’s available only to about 150 families.

“We consider this a resistance, a starting point, like a fire in a continuous struggle for our cultural life, for our community and we hope it can influence future struggle,” he said. “We hope that it can organize present struggle and that as we organize ourselves and our educational and cultural autonomy, we have the time to establish a foundation with which to continue working and impact the larger system.”

 


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