Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Can the LAUSD Ensure Student Safety During a Strike?

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Carl Petersen       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 503224
Become a Fan
  (5 fans)
- Advertisement -
"In addition to threatening the health and safety of students, a strike would also..."
- Exhibit A in LAUSD Court Filing

For over 25 years the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has been unable to satisfy the terms of a Consent Decree meant to ensure that students with special education needs receive the education that they are entitled to by law. Yet when faced with a strike by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the District has suddenly shown a concern "that students with disabilities not be deprived of legally-mandated services." Therefore, lawyers for the District asked the court to enjoin "UTLA, its officers, and representatives from causing, encouraging, condoning, or participating in any strike, slowdown, or other work stoppage by any UTLA bargaining unit member who provides educational services to LAUSD special education students."

Included in the motion filed by the LAUSD is a statement that "students with serious disabilities will be placed in extreme danger of injury due to lack of trained personnel or supervision." According to the District, these students "could get hurt, hurt themselves, or hurt others" if teachers, counselors, school psychologists, and therapists are allowed to participate in the strike. In summary, a strike would threaten "the health and safety of students" and "affected special education students will be irreparably harmed".

Without commenting on LAUSD's claims about the danger faced by students with special education needs, the court has ruled against the District and refused to prevent any teachers from participating in the strike. This will create a situation that the LAUSD says will be dangerous for children. While the District is publicly stating "that a strike is not considered a valid excuse to miss school", how can parents be expected to send their children to school when the LAUSD has admitted in a court document that their children will not be safe? How can the District even open schools if students "will be placed in extreme danger"?

- Advertisement -
"I also don't want to talk about what our plan is for the strike."
- LAUSD Board Vice-President Nick Melvoin

While the LAUSD only covered children with special education needs in their court filing, the well-being of all of the District's students should be called into question. There are approximately 30,000 members of UTLA who are set to go on strike. There are only "about 400 substitutes and 2,000 credentialed district staff" available to cover their positions. How can it be possible for this small number of replacements to guarantee a safe environment for children?

While "L.A. Unified has said that all schools will be open during the strike", LAUSD Board Vice-President Melvoin, has told parents that "if we get to a point where we think it is not going to be safe, we will close schools." Unfortunately, he was unable or unwilling to state how that decision will be made. He said that it was "all about ratios", but could not state what those ratios are. While the Board Member stated that the ultimate decision is up to the principal, an off-camera voice says that it is the bureaucrats at Beaudry who make the final decision.

Whether a student has typical or special needs, the LAUSD is not going to be able to provide the normal education experience without teachers in the classroom. Yet the District seems determined to keep the schools open. This may keep the funds flowing in from the state, but at what cost? As one parent reminded Melvoin: "If my kid gets injured, you have much bigger issues."

- Advertisement -

(Image by Carl J Petersen)   Permission   Details   DMCA

Carl Petersen is a parent and special education advocate, elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, he was endorsed by Network for Public Education (NPE) Action and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a "strong supporter of public schools." His past blogs can be found at Opinions are his own.


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Carl Petersen is a father of five, including two daughters who are on the autism spectrum. His involvement in education issues began when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) refused to provide services that his daughters' teachers (more...)

Carl Petersen Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Make it a Headline When Trump Actually Tells the Truth

California Senate Candidate Alison Hartson on Education

Three Headlines That Got Buried Last Week

If Money Continues to Talk, We're Screwed

Finding Hope in Florida

Bright Shiny Objects: Trump's Real Art is Diverting Attention

Comments Image Post Article Comment

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
Connect with Facebook     Connect with Twitter            Register with Facebook     Register with Twitter


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments  Post Comment

John Peebles

Become a Fan
Author 240

(Member since Apr 3, 2006), 11 fans, 26 articles, 11 quicklinks, 503 comments, 11 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit

  New Content

Either or. Spending priorities.

California is overcome with hordes of undocumented immigrants.

We agree on the need to educate all without regard to race or ability to pay, or documentation status. But how can we educate so many? At some point, our ability to absorb immigrant children into the system becomes impaired.

Is the California budget infinite? Can taxpayers subsidize a continual flow of new mouths to feed and minds to educate?

We can agree assimilation is required to bring new arrivals into a system that enhances their ability to excel and reach their potential.

Well we can't have our cake and eat it too. We either spend on those we already must serve or we can't help them adequately as the need is too great. This need is imposed by a open borders policy that brings with it an opportunity lost, a safety cost, a safety lost.

Fire mitigation needs financial support or you won't have a California. The time has come to make the needs of those presently in the state--legally or not--above the needs of those not yet there.

Block the ongoing flow of undocumented immigration. Otherwise, the challenges the State faces will mean more hardship for those already here.

If we can't help the most needy in our society, can we claim to be a beacon for the poor and dispossessed? Our nation must make the needs of its citizens paramount.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 7, 2019 at 9:08:33 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)

Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment