A Community’s Perception


On Wednesday, September 19th, students at Da Vinci Communications came together with their advisories to discuss the problems that have surfaced due to the reporting of student behavior around the city of El Segundo.

The building that Da Vinci Schools currently occupies in El Segundo is surrounded by corporate businesses and food industries, many of which DVC students often visit.

Brandon Rodriguez, a DVC junior, is a regular customer for the local 7-Eleven, “I always see a bunch of people there. There’s usually a line of students.”

With so many students from all three schools visiting these locations, it can be hard to keep track of which students are coming from DVC. Behavior outside of school is important to take notice of, as well as the way the community is responding to it.

Kadi Donnis, a freshman, shared that she has been hearing about negative attention circling DVC’s neighbors 7-Eleven, “There’s like a new law saying we have to keep our backpacks outside and not bring them in.”

7-Eleven has put a sign outside their doors to let customers know there are no backpacks allowed inside the store due to a high theft rate. Students now have to drop off their backpacks at the entrance of the store before going to retrieve their items.

Assistant Principal Adam Eynon mentioned that this is a normal policy that applies to many businesses within a certain radius of any school. However, the possibility of students stealing could still be up in the air.

“I’m not saying any of our students have. But I’m not saying they haven’t either. But just for us to understand, the actions of a few could definitely affect all of us,” Eynon noted.

Students misbehaving outside of school would most definitely leave a bad impression on the community that surrounds and supports DVC. Luckily, positive feedback has overpowered any negative feedback that has crossed paths with Da Vinci.

“I would say a majority of them have positive opinions about us,” Eynon added, “But there’s probably been a couple people at all these businesses who have had bad interactions or negative interactions with students. And so they’ve decided that that’s how all Da Vinci students are. But again, as a whole, a majority of them think we are pretty good.”

Another popular spot for Da Vinci students in the area is Starbucks. Cailyn Abbott, an employee at the local Starbucks who has worked there for a little over a year, has had the opportunity to build relationships with some of the students who attended Da Vinci.

“We’ve had some students that come in and they have become regulars and we got really close to them,” she said. “They will come to do their homework. We, you know, talk to them, get to know them and they recently graduated, but they still come back and visit so we have a pretty good relationship.”

Being able to work somewhere so close to a high school has given Abbott a chance to really get a better perspective on the teenagers who occupy the area instead of just “working people” or “working adults.”

“We actually got to like connect with the kids and see how their lives are impacted and what they’re doing, so it just gives us a better perspective from the kids. They’re always respectful and helpful,” said Abbott.

The mix of negative and positive reports from locals can give an unsure say as to how the community as a whole is perceiving Da Vinci Schools and who the students are as people.

Eynon added, “I want DVC students to be perceived exactly how they are. We know we’ve got good people here, we know we have a beautiful culture, we have beautiful students. But we need to make sure we show them that when we are out and about. ”