‘Is this a decision between politics or safety?’ — LAUSD weighs changes to its daily weapons searches
In its quest to decide what to do about daily weapons searches, LA Unified is preparing an expansive survey for the entire school community for December to explore whether changes are needed to one of the most rigorous search mandates of any school district in the country. After an information session last week, acting Superintendent...
By Mike Szymanski | November 1, 2017 3:48 pm
The 10 violent incidents at LAUSD schools that prompted stricter metal detector monitoring
*UPDATED It took a series of violent crimes on and near school campuses to spur LA Unified’s strict policy requiring every secondary school conduct random daily metal detector searches. Daily searches have been required for more than six years, but the policy is now being reevaluated as the district called this year for principals to...
By Mike Szymanski | November 1, 2017 8:49 am
Student voices on random weapons searches at LAUSD schools — feeling safe, or a waste of time
LA Unified’s daily random weapons searches get mixed reviews from the students themselves. Saisha Smith from Dorsey High says it’s a violation of her civil rights that “wastes valuable teaching time when all they’re doing is taking away my hand sanitizer and cough drops.” But student school board member Benjamin Holtzman from Hamilton High says,...
By Mike Szymanski | November 1, 2017 8:39 am
More weapons found on or near LAUSD campuses last year; rifles and shotguns more than doubled
Weapons found on or near LA Unified school campuses increased by 2.7 percent last year, to 568. The number of rifles and shotguns more than doubled. Those numbers for the 2016-17 school year were revealed last Tuesday at a special meeting of the school board to review the district’s policy of mandatory daily random searches...
By Mike Szymanski | October 31, 2017 10:08 am
LA schools staying dry thanks to past El Niño preparations
Despite record-breaking rainfall over the past week in Los Angeles, the number of leaks and flooding issues at LA Unified schools is minimal and administrators credit the preparations they did for last year’s rather wimpy El Niño. As of Monday morning, there were 2,000 open service calls for issues throughout the district, but only 20...
By Mike Szymanski | January 23, 2017 1:53 pm
Analysis of last year’s school shutdown shows need for better computers, communication
A 15-page report that details the dramatic 24 hours of the largest one-day shutdown of a school district in U.S. history shows some serious need for equipment and communications upgrades. The report released late Friday afternoon by LA Unified shows how agencies coordinated well during the safety threat, but also revealed a need for updated computer systems and...
By Mike Szymanski | December 18, 2016 9:40 pm