4 LAUSD elementary schools in pilot to improve safety for kids
Vanessa Romo | September 25, 2014
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Getting safely to and from school can be tricky in a rough neighborhood. To make it easier, City Attorney Mike Feuer launched a pilot program earlier this month at four LA Unified elementary schools, aimed at keeping kids safe.
The Neighborhood School Safety Program targets schools in areas with high “quality of life” crimes, including graffiti, vandalism, prostitution and illegal dumping.
The pilot schools are Vista Middle School in Panorama City; Barack Obama Global Preparation Academy in Chesterfield Square; Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood; and John H. Liechty Middle School in MacArthur Park.
The City Attorney’s office has partnered with LA Unified and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Providing safe passage on the journey to school is one key component of the program that will start later this fall, Sharee Sanders Gordon, Deputy City Attorney told LA School Report. Volunteer parents armed with walkie-talkies and bright colored vests will be stationed throughout neighborhood streets leading to the schools.
“It seems simple — just walking to school — but it’s not. It can be a very scary, and sometimes dangerous thing,” she said.
A multi-agency School Toxics Task Force has been set up to identify potential polluters within one mile of a school. Local police will conduct semi-regular gun sweeps and the City Attorney’s office will coordinate compliance checks on probationers, parolees and registered sex offenders who reside near school campuses to assure that none are in violation of any law.
Ultimately, the program can be expanded to other areas of the district where children are living in similar circumstances, Sanders Gordon said.
“This could really change their lives,” she said.