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Letters to the Editor: Why diminish the voices that support Los Angeles school police?

School police protest
Children join other community members in a protest in downtown Los Angeles on June 16 calling for the defunding of the Los Angeles School Police Department.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Despite publishing multiple articles on calls to defund the Los Angeles School Police Department, the Los Angeles Times has failed to adequately convey the points of view of many in our school community, including our principals, school clerical staff, maintenance workers and other support staff. They are an important voice in this complex debate about how best to keep our schools safe.

The Associated Administrators of Los Angeles, which represents our principals, have been openly critical of the call by the teachers union to defund the department that serves the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Similarly, the newspaper has failed to inform readers about the stance of other large urban districts, such as Atlanta and Chicago, that have determined that their school police departments are an essential part of maintaining a safe environment for students and staff in their schools. Instead, the paper mentioned a much smaller district — Oakland — that has decided to eliminate its police department.

It is deeply disappointing to see such unbalanced coverage on a story that is important to so many people.

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Gil Gamez, Los Angeles

The writer is president of the Los Angeles School Police Officers Assn.

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To the editor: Calls for the elimination of the Los Angeles School Police Department need to be heard if for no other reason than to eliminate the oppression Black students feel at school.

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Instead of feeling safe as I did, they “expressed pain and fear” and that school police officers make students feel “criminalized” during interactions, according to The Times. Maria Parra, though, a member of the parent group Padres Unidos, said at a recent school board meeting that she had seen campus police work as mentors to students.

Our precious young people need to know we value them. They and their teachers must feel safe at school. Discussions and actions need to happen so desired objectives are met. Maybe students, teachers, school police, and Black Lives Matter should be involved to find a solution.

Suzanne Brugman, La Habra Heights


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