There is much merit to Assemblywoman Marian W. La Follette's plan to sever the San Fernando Valley from the Los Angeles Unified School District.
The task force she appointed appears to have been quite thorough in traveling around the district speaking to black, Latino and many different ethnic groups' parents.
Something is missing, however, from this investigation and from the responses by the school board. Nowhere do I see anyone making a concerted effort to talk to the children. It is, after all, the children who are most directly affected.
I also find it interesting that some former school board members come to task force meetings and complain about segregation if the school district is broken up. There is nothing to stop the San Fernando Valley from integrating its own unified school district. I strongly suggest that these persons who are concerned about the breakup of the system be asked where their children attended school. We complain, as citizens of the city of Los Angeles and as residents of the San Fernando Valley, about gang problems, specifically an increase of more than 250% in the last year.
As one intimately involved in the Juvenile Court system, I have specific knowledge that many youths who are in fact gang members are constantly being placed on buses and bused into the San Fernando Valley. I further find it interesting to note that San Fernando Valley gang members are never placed on a school bus and bused out of the San Fernando Valley.
Therefore, I respectfully suggest that there are many questions that need to be answered, and that perhaps these questions are being asked of the wrong people.
JACK J. GOLD
Gold is a Los Angeles Juvenile Court commissioner.