While the LAUSD Board called on Congress and the state to pass stricter gun laws and on health insurers to provide quicker access to care for employees, parents showed up in force Tuesday and called on the Board to focus on its primary responsibility: to improve LA schools and help students succeed.
Gun violence dominated the agenda at Tuesday’s meeting, held the day before nationwide student walkouts inspired by the activism of the Parkland school shooting survivors. Seventeen chairs were taped off and left empty to represent each of the victims killed in last month’s shooting.
The Board passed a resolution, sponsored by Board Vice President Nick Melvoin, Board President Monica Garcia, Board Member Kelly Gonez to create a Safe Schools Task Force that will include parents, students, teachers, administrators and law enforcement, to review LAUSD’s safety and security plans. It also called on the state and federal government to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and pass universal background checks, as well as increase funding for mental health services.
“I’m inspired by the student wave of activism sparked by the survivors of Parkland,” Melvoin said. “In the weeks and months after the Newtown shooting, when our Congress didn’t take action on behalf of our kids, I really thought that America had lost our soul on this issue. Kids across this country in the last month are asking that we get it back…No one should fear for their safety or their child’s safety when they’re at school.”
But while state and federal guns laws are not within the control of the Board of Education, the quality of the education our kids receive is well within its purview. And dozens of parents from Speak UP and Parent Revolution flooded the meeting to demand a plan to improve under-performing schools and to help vulnerable students, including LGBT kids, English language learners, kids with special needs, low-income students and those experiencing mistreatment by a teacher.Read More