CEDILLO RESPONDS TO GANG RELATED SHOOTING AND FATALITIES AT LOCAL SCHOOLS
Sen. Gilbert Cedillo issued the following statement on recent gang related shootings at local schools.
There were six incidents of gang related gunfire near schools over seven days between March 9 -16; one March 9 and two in a single day on March 12 near the Santee Education Complex, one March 10 in front of Adams Middle School, one March 13 near Franklin High School, and one March 16 near Monte Vista Elementary School. A student received gunshot injuries but survived in the Adams Middle School incident, the uncle of a Santee student died in her arms as a result of the March 9 shootings and two Franklin High School students, ages 15 and 16, were killed in the March 13 gunfire. None of the students were affiliated with gangs.
"The safety of our schools is not an option. Students must be secure while at school and on their passage to and from school. Student fatalities are a shock to the heart and to our collective conscience. It's unacceptable that students face circumstances comparable to a war zone simply to go to class. We can not allow violence to permeate our children's lives in this way.
Our condolences and prayers are extended to the families suffering from this tragic and preventable loss and our support is offered to the school administrators, teachers, communities, parents, and peace officers involved in creating the academic experience each of our children deserve.
Our office has been engaged by these stakeholders, and to the fullest extend possible we will remain engaged in facilitating a solution to control these violent acts. We share a common moral obligation and commitment to the children of our district."
Cedillo has authored several anti-gang laws which were enacted into law providing for tougher sentencing and prosecution of criminal gang activity. In response to the shooting incidents Sen. Cedillo's district office, located in downtown Los Angeles, has been engaged in discussions with community members and law enforcement on the increased violence around school zones.
At a community meeting at Franklin High School last night several immediate measures were shared with an audience of parents and community members including extending the Los Angeles County Sheriff's patrol of the Gold Line stops in Highland Park to include the area surrounding the school. Law enforcement officials also suggested community members make use of a national program enabling mobile phone texts to report incidents of crime. Mobile phone users can anonymously text details of criminal activities to "CrimesLAPD" (the text message is not case sensitive). Parents requested monthly meetings at the school be held with schools and police officials to discuss crime in the area and plans were underway to set this in place.