LAUSD failed these students

Re “Shaping up -- no thanks to LAUSD,” column, July 23

I am pleased to see Steve Lopez recognize Green Dot Public Schools for the positive work it’s doing at Locke High School. I’d hoped that in sharing my teaching experiences with Lopez, I could highlight the changes in culture and expectations already sweeping through the campus. In doing so, though, I never meant to suggest that misbehaving students were “thugs.” The label shifts responsibility away from Locke’s old administration.

Those teenage students cutting class and acting out were the victims of a system that expected nothing of them while failing them at every level. If we must search for a criminal element, I point at the Los Angeles Unified School District, toward the well-paid suits who mismanaged generation after generation of Watts’ finest minds.

I loved my students at Locke and am confident that their creativity, energy and industry will flourish under Green Dot.


Tobin Paap

Los Angeles