Tuesday, October 20, 2009


LAUSD school administrators and Superintendent Ramon Cortines ran around the city yesterday knocking on doors looking for students. A great publicity stunt acting like they’re interested in finding drop-outs and truants. Of course, it’s that time of year – they count heads and send the numbers to Sacramento and every body they lure back to school gives the district more money. Now, if only they were concerned the rest of the year.

My friend Roshawn published her story in January-February 2006 with a narrative so horrifying of her childhood growing up in shelters and cheap hotels Skid Row I still cry every time I read it. One of the saddest chapters in her life occurred in 2003. She made the long trip from Skid Row to Reseda High School in the San Fernando Valley for two years, until the fall 2003 bus strike. There was no public transportation across the city. She was out of school for six weeks and fell so far behind with her schoolwork that she was forced to drop out.

No one called from the Los Angeles Unified School District or tried to locate her. LAUSD officials owe Roshawn an apology.

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