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Police end Inglewood High School student walkout over spending

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Police quashed a demonstration Wednesday at Inglewood High School after hundreds of students attempted to walk out of their classrooms in protest of school administrators, authorities said.

Dozens of officers responded to a disturbance call from the school at 231 S. Grevillea Ave. about 1 p.m., Inglewood Police Lt. Jacqueline Layne said.

KCAL-TV Channel 9 reported the students were upset over a news report that the financially troubled Inglewood Unified School District recently sent principals and administrators to a retreat at a luxury hotel in La Jolla at a cost of more than $38,000.

While most of the crowd of about 200 students was protesting peacefully on the school grounds, a few threw bottles and other debris, Layne said. Most of the Inglewood Police Department’s on-duty officers were dispatched to the school, along with officers from neighboring cities, she said.

"We were able to bring the situation under control before it got out of hand,” Layne said.

There were no injuries or property damage reported and no arrests made. Within a few hours, students were released from school “in an orderly fashion,” Layne said.

The state Department of Education took control of the debt-saddled school district in 2012, providing $55 million in emergency loans.

A report by KCBS-TV Channel 2 reporter David Goldstein that aired Tuesday cited documents detailing more than $38,000 in school district expenses for lodging, meals and parking at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa and an additional $9,000 for a motivational speaker.

School and district administrators did not respond to requests for comment late Wednesday.

[Updated, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 9:41 p.m. PST: Don Brann, a state trustee who runs the Inglewood Unified School District, said late Wednesday that he essentially agrees with the student protesters and plans to meet with some of their leaders.

The retreat was held over the weekend for 45 administrators and focused on the Common Core standards, Brann said, adding that it was not the retreat’s content he found objectionable, but its location.

"Choosing a venue like that, especially by a district that's in receivership, is not an appropriate use of taxpayers' funds,” he said. "I think it was a bonehead play and I'm taking steps so it can't happen again.”

Brann said that by the time he found out about the retreat, it was too late to move it to a closer and less expensive location without losing most of the money.]

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Twitter: @tonybarboza

tony.barboza@latimes.com

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