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Parents fearful about security at Gardena High: 'I don't feel my child is safe'

January 19, 2011 | 10:49 am

A day after two students were shot at Gardena High School, parents meeting Wednesday with school and district officials questioned the campus' security policy and the safety of their children.

Before the emotionally charged meeting, incoming LAUSD Supt. John Deasy told the Los Angeles Times that the school had violated district policy by not conducting random weapons searches every day. The meeting was closed to reporters, but parents shared their thoughts afterward.

Judith McKinney, whose 17-year-old daughter attends the school, said she remained unsatisfied and nervous about security on the South Bay campus. School officials "were complimenting themselves on how quick the response was to lock down the school," she said.

"It felt like the district was basically covering" themselves, she continued. "If they were doing their jobs, this wouldn't have happened."

At one point in the meeting, Mckinney said, a parent stood up and declared: "You guys failed us, and you failed our kids."

Many parents said school officials were vague about improvements, promising to beef up security without specifics.

"You see a lot of police now," said Laurie Williams, whose daughter Ashley, 17, stayed home from school Wednesday. "Come back next week, I guarantee you" extra security "will not be here."

Mckinney said if her daughter were younger, she would seriously consider transferring her to another school.

"I don't feel my child is safe," she said.


Photos: Gardena High School shooting

Mother of L.A. Unified student killed in 1993 calls for better campus security

Random weapon searches occurred 'once in a blue moon,' Gardena student says

-- Shan Li in Gardena