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Live Oak High School (LOHS) is a public high school located in Morgan Hill, California, which consists of freshman, sophomore, junior. and senior classes. Live Oak is part of the Morgan Hill Unified School District. The school mascot of Live Oak is an Acorn, and its colors are green and gold. Its principal rival is Ann Sobrato High School, established in 2004 and also located in Morgan Hill.
Live Oak Union High School was established in 1904. Montgomery Hall was used to house the pupils for the first term. Construction of the first permanent facilities were completed in 1905. At the organization of Live Oak Union, Highland, Burnett, San Martin, Machado and Morgan Hill rural school districts were included, and, in August, 1921, Coyote, Llagas and Uvas districts were added. The name was later changed to Live Oak High School after the Morgan Hill Unified School District was established[verification needed], which combined the aforementioned rural elementary school districts. The school was moved from 80 West Central Avenue to its present location at 1505 East Main Avenue in 1975. The former campus was renamed and established as Lewis H. Britton Middle School. Due to the establishment of Britton Middle School, from 1979 Live Oak High School consisted only of grades 10-12, but as of fall of 2004, it once again functions as a four-year high school.
The Oak Leaf is Live Oak High School's newspaper that covers school-related events, voices student opinion, and spotlights exceptional students and faculty. The monthly paper is the product of student writers, photographers, editors, and page designers. In recent years, however, due to lack of funding, publication of the paper has been in decline.
The Live Oak Emerald Regime marching band is a competing marching band in the WBA "Class A" division. Its uniform colors are the same as the school's, green and gold.
It originated in the summer of 1970 with 36 members, led by Michael Rubino and Cricket Hathaway. At first, the band was primarily for local band reviews and the Live Oak High School football games at the old campus (the current Britton Middle School campus). In 1976, the band took the Grand National Championship award in Whitewater, Wisconsin, winning "best winds", "best marching", and "best general effect". The Emerald Regime took the same award again in 1978.
Throughout much of the 1980s and 1990s, the Emerald Regime was very strong in its performances, winning numerous awards and embarking on many trips to numerous countries. The program calls a band trip a "Journey of a Lifetime".
Michael Rubino retired in 1998, and Jeff Wilson took his place. Despite this change in leadership, the band continued its tradition of excellence, continuing to travel to many different locations and winning many awards. In 2003, Greg Bergantz became the director of the bands at Live Oak High School. Mr. Bergantz is known in Alumni circles as the director who started the downfall of the Emerald Regime. However, during the late 1990s and early 2000s, the financial support for music programs in the Morgan Hill Unified School District diminished, and with the opening of Ann Sobrato High School, the numbers of the Emerald Regime slowly reduced the band's size from the "AAA" division to the "A" division in the WBA. The band, however, has not lowered its quality of music and performance and still wins competitions in the "A" division. The current director, Jason Locsin, is an Emerald Regime alumni and a 2002 Live Oak graduate. He is currently working to increase the numbers of the Emerald Regime and has successfully done so for the past two years. He has also lead the Emerald Regime to two straight Class A championship wins. Under Mr. Locsin's direction, the future of the Emerald Regime is looking up.
The band was best remembered for several memorable "Journeys of a Lifetime," two of which occurred in 1987. The Emerald Regime's first major trip was to China, where the ER was the first marching band to march on the Great Wall of China. As a result of that trip, the band took a trip to New York City, where the members marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. In 1990 the Emerald Regime also toured and played concerts in the Soviet Union during the waning days of that communist regime, with performances in Moscow, Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), and Estonia.
On May 5, 2010, five of its students and its administration attracted national attention to the school. Daniel Galli, Austin Carvalho, Matt Dariano, Dominic Maciel and Clayton Howard arrived at school wearing T-shirts and bandannas bearing emblems of the American flag. The school's administrators, led either by Principal Nicholas L. Boden or Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez (reports vary as to which), sent home four of them for refusing to remove the T-shirts on the Pueblan holiday of Cinco de Mayo. School officials deemed the garments "incendiary" and "disrespectful," fearing that displaying the flag would incite fights with the Mexican-American student body. The four students were also threatened with suspension.
Some of Live Oak's Mexican-American students said that they felt disrespected by the boy's action and they demanded an apology. One Mexican-American student stated, "I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day. We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."
The boys and their parents were livid over the school's actions, defending the students' right to wear the American flag. Ultimately, the five students were not suspended and returned to school the next day.
The Morgan Hill Unified School District immediately distanced itself from the actions of Live Oak school officials, characterizing the incident as "extremely unfortunate" and stating the matter was under investigation. The school district superintendent, Dr. Wesley Smith, said, "While campus safety is our primary concern and administrators made decisions yesterday in an attempt to ensure campus safety, students should not, and will not, be disciplined for wearing patriotic clothing."
On May 6, approximately 200 Hispanic teens, most of which were Live Oak High School students, walked out of their classes and marched to the school district's headquarters in protest of what they regarded as disrespect from their American-flag-wearing peers. The crowd carried Mexican flags and sported the red, white and green of Mexico's national emblem.
On May 7, the school district held a press conference regarding the incident, in which Boden apologized for the school administration's handling of the incident and explained why it handled it in the way that it did.
On May 10, the ACLU of Northern California sent a letter to the Morgan Hill Schools Superintendent protesting that the students' First Amendment rights had been violated and asking that the School District "take additional steps to inform students that their rights to free speech will be respected in the future".
On May 11, about 250 people attended the scheduled school board meeting. More than 30 people addressed the board about the incident, while many parents in attendance either cheered in unity or booed in opposition to the opinions expressed therein.
- Barrett Elementary
- Burnett Elementary
- Martin Murphy Middle
- Los Paseos Elementary
- Lewis H. Britton Middle
- Jackson Elementary
- El Toro Elementary
- Charter School Of Morgan Hill
- Central High (Continuation)
- San Martin/Gwinn Elementary
- Paradise Valley/Machado Elementary
- P. A. Walsh Elementary
- Nordstrom Elementary
- Ann Sobrato High