After months of working with Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles Community College District, local activists from the West Valley Resistance (WVR) and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield helped secure passage of the “Real Deal,” a comprehensive school training for active shooter and lockdown scenarios. “The sad reality is that school shootings have reached epidemic proportions and we need to take steps to make sure our kids are safe and not scarred by this horrific trend,” said Blumenfield.
This effort was spearheaded by former social worker and sociology professor Mel King of the progressive, grassroots WVR. Following the Sandy Hook shooting, Ms. King created a coalition of LAPD officers, school principals, teachers and mental health professionals to stop school shootings. One glaring fact was that local schools didn’t have a uniform policy on how to train students in case there is ever a tragedy unfolding at their campus. Blumenfield and WVR advocates worked with the LAUSD and LACCD boards to implement a new policy.
King stated, “Students are dying in schools from active shooters, and our schools and colleges are not prepared enough. We no longer have an alternative, but to train extensively and prepare our students, faculty and staff for the worst case scenario. This cannot be about politics, division or taking sides. This is purely about saving lives.”
Beginning in 2020-21, LAUSD schools “will be required to hold at least one lockdown drill each semester so students and staff know how to respond when all doors are locked and no one is allowed to enter or exit the building. Each school will also develop a plan to rapidly move students to a designated off-campus location when staying on the campus is unsafe. In addition, school employees will receive increased training in recognizing behavior that could escalate to campus violence. LAUSD will also increase efforts to inform parents about improved emergency response procedures.”