Concerns are growing about increased crime at Los Angeles public schools in the aftermath of the Board of Education voting to defund and slash the district’s police force.
Reports of violent assaults between students and weapons brought to schools in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) have parents worried, and some are reluctant to even send their children back to school every day, according to an investigation by CBS Los Angeles.
One video showed a 15-year-old girl getting allegedly assaulted and knocked to the ground at school by other students. The girl’s nose was broken, and she ended up with a concussion as well. Her mother came to pick her up shortly afterward.
“I’m like what happened to my daughter? Please help me find out what’s going on,” the girl’s mother, Brittany Jackson, told CBS Los Angeles. “This is horrific, just to see that on school grounds.”
“I don’t even feel safe sending them. I have to worry eight hours a day. Is my children going to make it back from school?” said Jackson, who has two children in school.
The outlet also viewed more videos of student fights in classrooms and outside on school grounds that were provided by police sources.
While complete data on recent crimes at Los Angeles schools was not available, the outlet did obtain some crime reports. One such report showed a sex crime at John Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles. Others showed a criminal threat at Franklin High School in Highland Park and an assault and battery of a school employee at John Marshall High School in Los Feliz.
A total of 108 assaults occurred at schools from August to October, with 16 students taken to the hospital, according to a local administrators union, the Associated Administrators of LA.
Meanwhile, police sources told CBS Los Angeles that there have been 44 weapons recovered including five handguns and 32 knives.
The district serves about 650,000 students.
In February, the Board of Education cut a third of the school police department’s officers, leaving schools without police stationed there. 133 school police positions were eliminated, including 70 sworn officers and leaving only 211 school police officers. The money was rerouted to programs aimed at supporting students of color. The school board had already voted to cut $25 million from the school police budget last year.
The drive targeting LAUSD gained significant momentum amid calls to defund police forces across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd, but progressive activists had been organizing within the school system for several years building the framework. As The Daily Wire exclusively reported in 2018, the teachers union had been working with Black Lives Matter members to rally students, parents, and educators against “the over-policing” of L.A. public schools.
Now, the president of one of the school police unions said officers are turned away if they try to come on campus, even just to use the restroom, but he added that previously, police were not always able to stop fights before they began.
“There were fights in schools, there were incidents on school campuses when school police were still there. School police were not preventing, and in many cases they were escalating, and making some of these situations worse,” said Gilbert Gamez, president of the Los Angeles School Police Association.
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