By Becky Koppenhaver
The opening of a new high school in Glassell Park has many parents excited about sending their children to a new state-of-the-art campus. But some parents have expressed worry about an old problem following their kids to the new school: gang violence. During a recent community meeting, some parents whose children will attend what is now called Central Region High School #13 expressed concern about the safety of the San Fernando Road campus and the surrounding areas. One parent brought up the issue of the competing gangs that will be attending the school, and wondered how the school planned to deal that issue.
According to Sergeant Clark Fujiwara, the Los Angeles Unified School District Police officer who will be in charge of the school, handling competing gangs on school campuses is nothing new to the force, most high schools in Los Angeles have students from more than one gang on campus.
“We’ve been handling gangs for years,” Fujiwara said. “We have an established system for these situations.”
He says that the new campus will have a set of “resident officers”, and there will always be an officer on duty during school hours. He says that over time, officers get to know students on campus, which helps when trying to mediate the problems. “We also work in coordination with the Los Angeles Police Department,” Fujiwara said.
In addition to policing, the school is also located within the mayor’s Cypress Park/Northeast Gang Reduction Youth Development Zone, which means there are several after-school programs for students who want to stay of trouble. But as one Glassell Park parent who attended a community meeting plainly put it: “The ones that want to stay out of trouble are not the ones that worry me.”
Becky Koppenhaver is a freelance writer covering schools. You can send Becky story tips and ideas at becky@theEastsiderLA.com
High school’s boundaries exclude part of Northeast L.A. EGP News