About 500 students walked out of John Marshall High School in Los Feliz during a recess Thursday, demanding improved security measures after two students were stabbed on campus on Wednesday.
The students said the stabbings followed another attack by students on campus in a classroom earlier this week, stoking fears about campus security. Several students who left the school said school administrators needed to protect them better and said various measures could be taken, including more accessible psychological counseling, increased police presence and indiscriminate searches for weapons and drugs.
Some students said a greater law enforcement presence had disadvantages and could make others uncomfortable. But the compromise would be worth it, several said, because it would make them feel more secure.
Periodic random searches would be an invasion of privacy, said 10th grader Gabrielle Ghazarian, “at the same time if we really want to make sure everyone is safe and nobody is bringing things to school that pose a danger to themselves or other people , I feel like it’s worth thinking about.
Her classmate, Marina Wells, disagreed and would resist going back to the previous practice of stationing a police officer on campus.
“I don’t think we would need a school police officer if the administration was more concerned with the mental health of the students and just finding out what was going on with the students,” she said.
Two students were stabbed to death around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday as school was closing out. They were taken to hospital for treatment before being discharged Thursday morning.
One person of interest was arrested and released, said Nina Buranasombati, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles School Police Department. She could not say whether the person was a student. No weapon was found, she said.
School Police Deputy Chief Glenn Besunder told The Times that officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were also called to the scene and questioned the individual before releasing them.
The stabbing arose from an argument, Besunder said. Investigators questioned the victims at the hospital early Wednesday evening.
The investigation is being conducted by school police and school officials, the deputy principal said.
Los Angeles Schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho is preparing to deliver a district-wide school safety plan as the issue of campus safety has come to the fore after last spring’s mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, other violent incidents and the parents and students who recent student overdoses in Los Angeles and the death on the Bernstein High campus in Hollywood.
The violence and crime have reignited debates about what school safety should look like. Parents are generally calling for more campus policing and security measures, including cameras and more fences.
A coalition of groups including Students Deserve, United Teachers Los Angeles, the ACLU of Southern California, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, the Collective for Liberatory Lawyering and Reclaim Our Schools LA sent a letter to Carvalho and the school board last month They resisted calls to increase school policing, saying they are fomenting a climate of fear and fueling distrust between students and the adults who educate and educate them.
Both parents and groups agree that stronger student mental health services are needed to defuse conflict on campus.
Anyone with information about the stabbing is asked to call the School Police Department’s Investigative Services Division at (213) 202-8621.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-20/los-angeles-students-walk-out-at-marshall-high-after-stabbing Los Angeles students walk out at Marshall High after stabbing