High school students and organizers in L.A. accomplished their dreams to remove super military rifles and grenade launchers from their school.
The high school teens and grassroots organizers forced the police department to get rid of all their M-16 rifles, grenade launchers and a MRAP war vehicle from the school’s arsenal. But before the recent victory, some members had demanded in a February meeting that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board showed proof of returning those arms to the Department of Defense.
Steve Zimmer, the president of the board of education, apologized to the group for allowing the K-12 students expose with weapons of mass destruction. “I now understand that especially in the context of the many conflicts between law enforcement and communities of color across the nation, our participation in this program may have created perceptions about the role of our district and our school police that my silence exacerbated,” he said.
The L.A. School Police Department Chief Steven Zipperman wrote May 18 that “the LASPD recognizes the sensitive historical aspect of associating ‘military-like’ equipment and military presence within a civilian setting.” He said, “We recognize that this sensitive historical component may not have been considered when originally procuring these types of logistics within a civilian or K-12 public school setting.”
Seeing military-grade weaponry on the school campus sometimes creates fear in students. It shows that you’re not safe and you’re always scared that something terrible might happen soon.
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