NELA Schools: Security Concerns

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No arrest has been made as yet in the attempted kidnapping of a student from Eagle Rock High on Jan. 22. Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department told the Boulevard Sentinel they are still investigating, but have no details to release beyond what is already known. To recap: A high school junior walking home from school at about 3:30 p.m. was followed by a man who attempted to pull her into his car, a black, four-door vehicle, near the corner of Escarpa Drive and Campus Road. She broke free and ran home, where her mother called the police.

Recent crimes at and near L.A. schools and across the nation have again raised awareness and questions about security on and around campuses. Two police officers with the L.A. School Police Department patrol inside Eagle Rock High School and in the surrounding neighborhood, but they can be dispatched to Franklin High School in Highland Park and other parts of L.A.

On Feb. 1, for example, the officers for Eagle Rock High had to leave in the middle of a morning meeting with Mylene Keipp, the principal at ERHS, to respond to a school shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School in Westlake, west of downtown L.A.

To hire and assign more police would likely require cutting resources for other school needs. Moreover, school policing strategies have limitations, in part because security measures like fences, random searches, metal detectors and armed officers can make schools seem more like prisons.

Shortly after the abduction attempt in January, Ms. Keipp alerted all parents by email. 

On Feb. 21, a week after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, FL, Steven Zipperman, the chief of the L.A. School Police, posted a safety message on the website of the Los Angeles Unified School District saying that school police “will use every available method and practice to protect school communities.” 

You can read the letter in full at home.lausd.net

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