When veteran Los Angeles Unified School (LAUSD) district police officer Jeffrey Stenroos was shot and injured yesterday on school grounds, all schools in the area were put on lockdown for hours as a search for the shooter was organized, and a perimeter was cordoned off. Today with no one in the schools injured, the drama has turned into angry parents wanting students to have food and a potty break.
There is a $100,000 reward for the man in the composite sketch above, believed to have shot Officer Stenroos near E Camino High in Woodland Hill, California. In the meantime, let us all focus on potty breaks.
By the time the normal school day ended, two schools were allowed to release students, but seven others were detained for a total of about 7 hours.
“We unfortunately did not have the communication network we would have liked to,” said Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman. “There were restrooms down the hallways from classrooms and some schools did have the ability to deliver food. We have to determine how we get the word to schools that it’s safe to do that.”
Los Angeles police and school district officials each said responsibility for student conditions during lockdowns rest largely with the other agency.
But what about those “lockdown kits – you know, sadly necessarily provided by the school for just such occasions, instructing the teacher to provide sheets for privacy.
…a 5-gallon pail is part of a “lockdown kit” that is supposed to be accessible to every classroom. The pail with a removable lid is “solely for the purpose of this kind of situation,” said district spokesman Robert Alaniz.
Other elements of the lockdown kit include toilet paper and a portable toilet seat. There’s also a flashlight, polyethylene bags, blankets, a pocket radio, bandages, tissues, disposable vinyl gloves, assorted batteries and duct tape.
Every new teacher is supposed to receive training in using the kit, which includes a recommendation that teachers supply a sheet that can be draped to provide privacy, said Bob Spears, the district’s director of emergency services.
An armed man is loose in the area – a man willing to shoot a police officer – and parents worry about potty break! It has to be uncomfortable for the kids, but please…teenagers innovate in such amazing ways. Surely they can come up with a way to provide their friends a little privacy, as embarrassing as it may be for everyone. Parents, gather up your sheets and get them to the teacher, along with toilet paper, and whatever, and let the police do their job. Missing meals for 7 hours – no sympathy at all. Toughen-up your kids, for gosh sakes, and if a medical condition requires food throughout the day, then pack it up for them, each and every day.
In an unrelated story, on Tuesday, two students were shot by the same bullet when a gun smuggled into L.A.’s Gardena High School “accidentally” discharged. A male student was grazed in the shoulder, or he was shot through the neck (two stories circulating), and the girl was shot in the temple. She is in critical condition at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with a skull fracture and brain trauma. The boy has been released from the hospital.
One report says two other students helped the 17-year-old smuggle the gun into the school. Gardena High “randomly” uses “wand” metal detectors throughout the high school system. New incoming LAUSD school superintendent said the school did not follow the district’s policy requiring “daily metal-detector scans of” some” students.” The unnamed student with the gun must be one of the students on the scan list. He is said to be on probation for “a misdemeanor battery conviction.”
I could not be more grateful that my loved ones are not stuck in Los Angeles schools.