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  • Higher Education
Kevin Shaw
Kevin Shaw (Dawn Bowery/FIRE)

Kevin Shaw, a student at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, was trying to hand out copies of the U.S. Constitution on campus last fall.

But he was stopped, he said, by an administrator who told him he could not distribute literature outside a small area the campus designated as a "free speech zone." He also was told he needed a permit to use the free speech zone and would be removed from campus if he refused to comply, Shaw said in a statement. 

On Tuesday, Shaw filed a lawsuit against Pierce College and the nine-campus Los Angeles Community College District alleging that the restrictions were a violation of his 1st Amendment right to free speech. Shaw is challenging both Pierce College's restrictions and a districtwide policy that requires all campuses to designate at least one free speech zone. 

Inside the well-worn choir room at Van Nuys High School, a scuffed-up old grand piano rumbles as composer David O pounds out slow, bluesy chords.

"Who I am," the choir sings soulfully above his accompaniment, their voices rising in pitch with each word, "is a woman who fights a good fight."

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Alysia Evans' son was 4 in 2013, when a man went on a shooting rampage in Santa Monica, killing five people before officers killed him. Her son was in preschool a few blocks from Santa Monica College, where the attack came to an end.

The preschool was placed on lockdown that day, and everyone there was safe, but "it's the first panic attack I've had in my life," said Evans, an attorney who lives on the Westside.

A former student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons opened fire at a South Florida high school Wednesday, killing 17 people and wounding at least a dozen others, authorities said.

The suspected gunman, Nikolas Cruz, 19, was quickly arrested "without incident" after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said. Cruz had made "disturbing" posts on social media before the attack, Israel said.

Police take a girl into custody after a shooting at Los Angeles' Sal Castro Middle School.
Police take a girl into custody after a shooting at Los Angeles' Sal Castro Middle School. (KTLA-TV)

In and around Los Angeles:

The L.A. Unified board narrowly voted to approve a new three-year benefits package.

A former teacher at L.A.’s Sal Castro Middle School said one of the victims of the recent shooting there still has a bullet lodged in his head.

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The Los Angeles Board of Education on Tuesday approved a three-year benefits package that contains some costs but falls well short of the savings that district officials say is needed to keep the school system solvent.

The 60,000 employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District are not among the nation's highest paid, but most enjoy comprehensive medical benefits for themselves and their families without paying monthly premiums. Such subsidies are rare in the workplace.

A boy who was wounded in a shooting at Sal Castro Middle School nearly two weeks ago has been released from a hospital but still has a bullet in his head, his former teacher said.

A bullet struck 12-year-old Issa Al-Bayati in his skull, but didn't hit any vital organs, said Bridgette Robinson, who instructed Al-Bayati in English, science and English language development at the school last year. The teacher said he will require additional treatment.

California officials are urging students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for college aid.
California officials are urging students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for college aid. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

L.A. Unified is soliciting applications for the district’s next student board member.

A USC football player was arrested Monday on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.

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Each year, California invites students who are in the country without legal permission to apply for the same financial aid packages available to others. But officials once again are concerned that fears are keeping those they want to help from seeking the funding.

The deadline to apply for aid through the California Dream Act is March 2, just about two weeks away

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El Camino Real Charter High School students celebrate decathlon win.
El Camino Real Charter High School students celebrate decathlon win. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

In and around Los Angeles:

A video showing a police officer body-slamming a handcuffed San Diego area high school student has led to protests and soul-searching.

L.A. Unified is giving students another chance at magnet programs with a late application process.

In something of an upset, El Camino Real Charter High School has won the 2018 Academic Decathlon for the Los Angeles Unified School District, officials announced Sunday.

Though El Camino, located in Woodland Hills, was clearly an academic powerhouse in this competition, the win ran counter to recent form because Granada Hills Charter High has triumphed repeatedly. Granada Hills won the L.A. crown on its way to the 2017 national championship — its third straight.

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