51b1179617133b4556136a2bcb4f3dc0I am appalled that we even toyed with the idea of closing Petaluma High School’s auto shop program. All students deserve access to useful skills that they can use after high school, whether or not they attend college. Technical and vocational skills can help everyone. Our community needs more skilled workers, and our schools can help encourage students to explore all potential career paths.

All students can benefit from the skills we learn in vocational classes. I still incorporate basic skills that I learned in Physical Education into my (admittedly minimal) exercise routines, and I cannot imagine how much I would utilize more automotive and mechanical knowledge if I had pursued those classes.

California is on the path to requiring all high schools to teach ethnic studies. Petaluma City Schools should be ahead of the curve and incorporate this curriculum before it is legally mandated so we can ensure that we hire the best staff and use the best practices. Ethnic Studies is a critical part of academics living in a globalized, racially diverse world.