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Protests Again Roil South Gate High

A second day of class boycotts ends by lunch. L.A. Unified officials vow to address demands.

November 05, 2005|Erika Hayasaki | Times Staff Writer

For the second day in a row, students at South Gate High School boycotted classes Friday to protest a lack of teachers, books and classes. This time, they were met by administrators, district officials and a school board member who laid out a plan to satisfy some of those concerns.

District officials said they took seriously the students' complaints and that they are moving fast to remedy them. Among the changes:

* Seven teachers will be brought in by Monday to fill the shortage for math and computer science positions;

* All missing textbooks should be arriving at the school by midweek;

* If students missed course work due to a lack of teachers or books, they will be allowed to make up those assignments;

* Additional college counselors will be brought in to help students with applications and other graduation issues.

Olga Quinones, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokeswoman, said that the students returned to class by lunch and that administrators do not expect any more class disruptions.

On Thursday, nearly 500 students held a peaceful sit-in on the football field.

The district this fall returned the campus to a traditional, September-June calendar from the controversial year-round schedule. Nearly 340 more students than anticipated enrolled, leaving the school scrambling to find enough teachers, classrooms and books.

Some classes had more students than seats, others were taught by substitutes and still others were left without books or other instructional materials.

The struggles at South Gate High were initially believed to be the growing pains of a school in flux.

The district had returned to the traditional calendar as new schools opened, and parents sent their children to South Gate instead of busing them to campuses outside the neighborhood.

But district officials and board member David Tokofsky, who came to the campus Friday, assured students that their concerns were heard and that they are working on other improvements.

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