“How Teenagers Got Police to Back Down and Remove Military-Grade Weaponry From Their High Schools”

“Perhaps most stunningly, the coalition eventually persuaded the Los Angeles School Police Department to issue its own apology. “The LASPD recognizes the sensitive historical aspect of associating ‘military-like’ equipment and military presence within a civilian setting,” wrote Chief Steven Zipperman in a letter dated May 18. “We recognize that this sensitive historical component may not have been considered when originally procuring these type of logistics within a civilian or K-12 public school setting.”…
The subsequent campaign “took a lot of work and time,” Ashley Franklin, lead organizer for the Strategy Center, told AlterNet. “We organized on each of the blocks we work in, organized in different high school campuses, going in and doing classroom presentations at the school about how this is rooted in institutional racism. We had phone call campaigns, turned in 3,000 petitions and made over 300 calls to school board members. It was a long campaign, and those were just the easy tactics.”
Taking Action clubs at multiple high schools in the district played a critical role. “Young people decided to put their bodies on the line, following after Malcolm X and Fannie Lou Hamer,” Franklin said. “They did multiple sit-ins at the school board and disrupted meetings, declaring that this should not be business as usual.”
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