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Teachers rise above the mess in LAUSD

To the editor: Being a teacher at a little gem of a middle school in Mid-City, my colleagues and I have a saying that is repeated almost daily: "in spite of." We use those words to make light of situations that make our job so much more challenging than it already is. ("FBI at the door is just the latest bad news for L.A. school district," Dec. 6)

In spite of an infuriating computer system, we report on attendance and grades. In spite of having one administrator, no dean, no counselor and district-mandated rules not to suspend willfully defiant students, we have a respectful and mild-tempered student body. In spite of fellow teachers and administrators who are inept, we mentor students with integrity and morality.

To say that things could be better would be an understatement. But in spite of all the shortcomings, there is good news: We manage to create a wholesome school environment while leading students in a positive direction.

Ed DeGrasse, Chatsworth

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