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Worried parents call for more security at Gardena High

January 18, 2011 |  1:28 pm

Parents and relatives gathered outside Gardena High School are still waiting for students to be released from lock down at the school's normal dismissal time of 1:52 p.m. Many said they were able to communicate with their children via cellphone.

Patricia Gutierrez rushed from her home in Inglewood after she got a call from her brother. Her nephew, John Patrick, is a sophomore at Gardena High.

"I don't even remember getting here. I just flew out the door," she said. "I was thinking of the congresswoman in Arizona, and I thought this is crazy. What is going on? Why?"

Gutierrez said that her nephew called his father and said he was OK, but that he and other students still had no idea what was going on inside the school.

Other parents waiting along Normandie Avenue described their frantic attempts to contact their children.

"I have three kids in there so I'm constantly talking to them trying to figure out what's going on," said Terri Allen, whose family lives in Gardena.

"My main focus right now is making sure my daughter is OK," said Robert Goodson of Los Angeles. "It's weird. I just don't understand why kids bring guns to school."

Some said they were baffled by the nature of the shooting and questioned security inside the school.

"I wish the school would get more involved," said Darlene Valenzuela, who was waiting for her daughter, Angela. "They need way more security."


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Anxious Gardena High parents await word from their children

Gardena High shooting: Should campus metal detectors have found gun?

-- Sam Allen in Gardena