#iamfremont used to teach students about social media, promote school pride

Hashtag used on t-shirts, videos, Instagram, Twitter

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One of the #iamfremont images used in a social media campaign to promote Fremont features sophomore Wendy Mora.

Students at Fremont High are using #IAMFREMONT to speak out on social media about their pride in their school and about their opposition to the district’s plan to allow charter companies to bid for the redesign and operation of the school.

Media Academy students started the hashtag as part of their study of the power of social media.

“IAMFREMONT is a social media campaign to bring awareness to the positive things at Fremont,” said Video Production teacher Jasmene Miranda.

Miranda said she believes it is necessary to “displace the myth of Fremont being a failing school.”

The #IAMFREMONT tag took on a life of its own after an anonymous Fremont graduate donated about 100 #iamfremont t-shirts for students and other Fremont supporters to wear on the night of a community engagement meeting in which proposals to redesign the 104-year-old school were discussed and the possibility of giving the school to a charter company was addressed.

As of Feb. 5, 369 public pictures on Instagram had been tagged with #iamfremont and dozens of posts had been posted on Twitter using the hashtag. Some of the photos include Honor Roll students on a field trip to San Francisco’s Pier 39. Other pictures show students showing Fremont pride at school board meetings.

Oakland Unified School District announced a plan on Dec. 19 to allow groups inside and outside the district to submit proposals to redesign Fremont and four other schools. Superintendent Antwan Wilson said that he believes the district should open all options that would help schools improve test scores and graduation rates, even if that means turning district schools over to charter companies.

The other schools affected are McClymonds High, Castlemont High, Brookfield Elementary and Frick Middle School. However, it appears that only Fremont has taken on a social media campaign to voice opinions about the plan.

“I wear the #IamFremont shirt because I am a proud Fremont Tiger,” said sophomore student Diana Chavez.

Students from all pockets of the school have recorded videos with Media Academy students to express how they feel about Fremont. The videos were recorded and uploaded on YouTube and shared on Twitter accounts.

Several upperclassmen spoke up.

“It’s where I’ve had my best education,” says senior Amir Nasher on one video. He explains how he came to Fremont freshman year not being able to read and write in English. Nasher says he is grateful that he has now learned and is in the path of graduating in June.

And the most retweeted, liked and reposted #iamfremont image so far?

Principal Emiliano Sanchez dressed in green and gold and standing with the Tiger mascot at the Silver Bowl. On that image, graphics read “#iamfremont,” “Fremont High School graduate and principal” and the Twitter icon.