Defending Special Education

A Very Special School Is Threatened Again

Lokrantz SpEd Center is a jewel of the LAUSD with dedicated staff serving the District’s neediest students. Why is it not being supported?

Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness
Published in
10 min readApr 2, 2023

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“We are not going to continue to merely sit back and watch our students, staff, and community suffer. We understand our rights.”

– The Lokrantz Community

My reputation as an independent journalist who covers the LAUSD in ways that the corporate media will not has resulted in the receipt of some interesting pieces of mailing coming into my inbox. Some, like the copies of email messages sent by David Fehte to parents at El Camino Real Charter School just before the Daily News released an article exposing corruption at the school piqued my curiosity and fueled my coverage of the scandal. The copy of the lawsuit against North Valley Military Institute made my blood boil. Last week when I received a copy of an email sent to LAUSD Board Members from members of the Lokrantz community it brought tears to my eyes.

Lokrantz is a Special Education Center that serves the District’s most vulnerable students, many of whom have severe health challenges. The campus was built to be physically welcoming to these students and to meet their needs. The first thing that I noticed when I visited the school was that the curbs in the bus drop-off area were even with the door of the bus to accommodate students with mobility issues. The campus includes a hydrotherapy pool and facilities for physical therapy. The playground is wheelchair accessible.

The hydrotherapy pool

When I first ran for School Board in 2015, the incumbent, Tamar Galatzan, was pushing to close the campus to force the students onto general education campuses. With the election of Scott Schmerelson, the school found a champion, but parents still had to file a lawsuit against a School District that claimed that “special education centers are unnecessary because the District can ‘provide all supports and services…at a general education site”.

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Carl J. Petersen
Age of Awareness

Parent, special education advocate and former LAUSD School Board candidate. Still fighting for the children. www.ChangeTheLAUSD.com