Stand and Deliver Filmed Garfield Roosevelt High School, James A. Garfield High School is a public, year-round high school founded in 1925 in East Los Angeles, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, California. The school was made famous by the film Stand and Deliver about a teacher named Jaime Escalante. A wake was held on April 17, 2010 for Jaime Escalante in the lecture hall where he taught calculus.
Garfield was one of the five schools to initiate student protests known as the East L.A. walkouts in 1969, and contributed to the walkouts in 2006, in protest to the HR 4437 bill.
On May 20, 2007, a 17-year-old arsonist set fire to the school’s 82 year-old auditorium. It was estimated that the fire caused over $30 million in damages. The auditorium was completely destroyed. The 17-year-old arsonist, a boy who was a freshman at the school, was sentenced to juvenile camp and ordered to pay restitution for setting the blaze. Chandeliers were saved from the auditorium’s wreckage.
A benefit concert was held collaboratively with Los Lobos, and a donation was given by boxer Oscar De La Hoya. L.A. Unified contends that the 1925 auditorium needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to meet state building codes, but nine insurers insist that the walls are salvageable and could support a new building, district officials said. Garfield’s main administration building, which is attached to the auditorium must be retrofitted to meet earthquake standards, and officials have not determined the level of demolition needed.
The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Wednesday March 31, 2010 a day after the death of Jaime Escalante that the new auditorium under construction at Garfield High would be named in his honor. On Thursday April 1, 2010 a memorial service honoring Escalante was held at the Garfield High where he taught from 1974 to 1991. Students observed a moment of silence on the front steps. About 200 attended, said Principal Jose Huerta.
In July 2010, while the school was closed for the first summer vacation since 1991, the Administration Building and the remains of the Auditorium were demolished. By the start of the school year in September, the entire building was leveled. only a small power plant remains of the building. The school’s 300 building is the final structure that dates back to the school’s opening in 1925.
Garfield was on a year-round, multi-track schedule to relieve overcrowding from July 1991 to June 2010. Initially, there were four tracks. The students were, for the most part, randomly assigned to one of three tracks, and alternate two-month vacations. Only two-thirds of the student body were on campus at any given time. In 2010, the School announced that because of the opening of the new Esteban Torres High School, the school would revert to a traditional September-June calendar starting in September 2010.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, Garfield High was predominantly White. However, since the 1960s, the majority of student body has been Hispanic. The school had a total of 4620 students in the 2005-2006 school year; 99.26% of the students were identified as Hispanic. Students enrolled in the 2009-2010 year are a total of 4,603..