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Group Holds Rally Against Increasing Armed Guards In Schools

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KOREATOWN (CBSLA.com) — A group of community rights activists held a rally in Koreatown Friday against having armed personnel inside LAUSD schools.

Rally organizer Manuel Criollo and members of the Community Rights Campaign said they aren’t against police patrols, just armed guards, which they believe will make students feel like prisoners in their own school.

“Putting more armed guards in schools creates a type of environment for young people that is very unwelcoming and that makes them feel like prisoners in their own school,” Criollo said.

The group got together at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue to drive the point home with music, chants and speeches.

“Having police in our schools is intimidating,” said Michael Davis, a student at the rally.

Starting Monday, armed police offices will be visiting all LAUSD schools, on the first day students are back from winter break. The move comes amid calls to increase patrols and armed personnel in schools in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut.

Rally organizers said the patrols are reactionary and officials should consider other means to combat school violence.

Some people who spoke with CBS2/KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez said they want more protection for students.

Timmi Tway said she doesn’t consider herself a gun supporter but feels that weapons, in the right hands, can prevent more tragedies from happening in schools.

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