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Students protest Marshall High teacher removal

September 22, 2009 |  1:22 pm


About 150 students at John Marshall High School in Los Feliz did not report to their first two periods of class today to protest the removal of a popular teacher.

The instructor, Larry Welch, teaches several honors and Advanced Placement courses and also coaches the school's academic decathlon team. He was removed from his position last week and is being kept out of the classroom pending an investigation, according to Los Angeles Unified School District officials, who declined to disclose the reason for Welch's removal.

Students gathered at the front of the school and chanted "What do we want? Welch!" and said they wanted the investigation to be conducted quickly. Several students said they were concerned that their Advanced Placement English literature course could be canceled because Welch was one of the only instructors credentialed to teach the course. A substitute teacher taught the class for several days, and a permanent, credentialed teacher will take over on Wednesday, according to the school district.

A Times story last spring detailed the district's handling of teachers who are pulled from the classroom. Some cases took years to be completed and several teachers complained that they were removed from school without any explanation.

-- Jason Song reporting from John Marshall High School

Photo: Anastasya Lloyd-Damnjanovic, 17, protests in front of John Marshall High school over the removal of AP English teacher Larry Welch. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times