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San Leandro High Students End Hunger Strike Over Cuts

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(L-R) Anai Rosales, Kayla Ely and Veronica Mandujano are three San Leandro High School students who staged a week-long hunger strike over education cuts. (CBS)

(L-R) Anai Rosales, Kayla Ely and Veronica Mandujano are three San Leandro High School students who staged a week-long hunger strike over education cuts. (CBS)

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SAN LEANDRO (CBS 5 / KCBS) – Three San Leandro High School students ended their hunger strike over education cuts after a meeting with school officials Tuesday night.

The strike ended after school board president Morgan Mack-Rose said reserve funds would be used to offset the cuts.

“We have already committed to the teachers that we are willing to spend a significant portion of that 5.78 reserve, to preserve programs and jobs,” Mack-Rose said.

“At least we got them to agree to use the reserves, which last week they were completely opposed to. So that’s a small win, I guess you could say,” said Veronica Mandujano, one of the hunger strikers.

Mandujano, along with Kayla Ely and Anai Rosales started the strike last week. They were prompted after the school board approved $1.4 million in cuts as well as $2.5 million in contingency reductions that would take effect if voters don’t pass a sales tax hike for education this November.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Superintendent Cindy Cathey said the strike got the board’s attention. “I’m proud of them for taking a position, and fighting the good fight. I am proud of them for doing that, yes.”

Before Tuesday’s meeting, Mandujano said it’s a fight not only for her class, but also those in the future.

“I don’t believe that it’s drastic at all. I don’t believe that it’s too much for this issue because people don’t realize that that’s exactly how the student body will be next year,” she said. “They will be starving.”

Mandujano said they were trying to support each other but it was tough to live on fluids alone.

“The first few days were the hardest because I’ve never had to deny my body food,” Mandujano said. “It’s something you crave, whether you like it or not, the smell, the sound, especially at school. The school lunches even look so good.”

During the strike, the students had nutritional shakes, water and vitamins. They dropped several pounds and became tired.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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