Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A. Unified looks at tightening campus security following Gardena High shooting

Los Angeles Unified School District is investigating whether improvements need to be made to the district's policy for randomly checking students with hand-held metal detectors.

The announcement by incoming Supt. John Deasy came after two students were injured by gunfire inside a classroom after a handgun inside a student’s backpack discharged.

"The wand system was put in place across L.A. Unified several years ago, and that was the policy here," Deasy said, referring to Gardena High School where the shooting occurred.

Gardena High School used a random code to decide which students to screen with the hand-held wands, he said. Screenings are conducted daily, though the number of students scanned is not made public.

At a meeting Tuesday night, district staff and school principals are set to begin looking at tightening the campus security net, possibly increasing the number of students screened per day, Deasy said.

The meeting will also examine the district’s automated parent notification system, which issues text message or phone calls in campus emergencies.

On Tuesday, many parents waiting anxiously outside Gardena High complained of delays or never receiving a call or text about the situation.

"The system notifies parents with the number that students give us. Sometimes they are inaccurate," he said. "If there were delays, I personally apologize."

Deasy said about 20 students were inside the classroom at the time of the shooting. Although he declined to give specifics about the victims or the suspect because they are minors, he described both victims as "two active and very good students who were doing their work."

School officials have also said there were "no red flags" on the 17-year-old student who allegedly brought the gun to campus, nothing to indicate that he posed a risk.

Authorities, meanwhile, are investigating whether the suspect has gang ties or was bullied or threatened and felt a need to carry a loaded gun.

"It's a horrible, horrible tragedy," Deasy said.

School will reopen Wednesday with the same security policy and extra guards. Grief counselors will be on scene. An 8 a.m. meeting is also scheduled on campus for parents.


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Boy shot at Gardena High is on track team, excels in sports

Gardena High School violated district's weapons-check policy, top LAUSD official says

-- Shan Li at Gardena High School

Comments () | Archives (4)

Gardena High, with fights everyday and 2000 suspensions a year, needs to be bulldozed. This is insane. This is not a school but an asylum. Tear it down and start over. LAUSD needs to do the same.

Pretty scary when a school needs to have better security then the airports and the students are better at loading 9mm mags then they are in math. With a 35% drop out rate and 4.5% efficiency rate in Math at this Gardena L.A.Unified school...do you think the system for this school might be more then a little bit broken? What does it say about the teachers?...the kids could teach themselves Math with no instructors and probably do better then 4.5%.

After 9/11, security was beefed up and patrols were increased. After these two students were injured, the call goes out to "begin looking at" security in schools.

When will these idiots learn to be proactive, instead of reactionary? How many other people have to be injured, maimed or killed? This is not the 1950's anymore. High schoolers are not sweet and innocent...scan EVERY student, EVERY day! Not rocket science! During every election cycle, the unions dip their hands further into our pockets under the guise of "improving schools". Where are all those millions they've collected? How about spending a few bucks so that kids don't get SHOT while trying to get an education, hmmm?

I grew up in the 1960's and my 2 best friends had lots of guns. We were only 16 years old but could buy all the ammo we wanted to at the local sports shop, the owner knew our parents. My friends had handguns, shotguns and high powered rifles. We took gun safety classes and learned how to handle them properly.
The first lesson learned is to never point a gun at anyone, when you showing someone a gun keep the barrel pointed down and away from them.
And always check to see if the weapon is loaded before handing it to another person.
I learned how to handle guns safely and none of us ever did anything stupid.
I don't understand what's happening today. I do think that gun safety classes should be given to all students. Guns are only dangerous when they are in the hands of kids that don't know anything about them.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: