LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — For the first time Thursday evening, a Black Lives Matter event was held inside a LAUSD school.
KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii was there.
“Black Lives, We Matter Here,” was a phrase repeated by hundreds of people at Dorsey High School in the Crenshaw district.
Fujii reported the meeting Thursday evening there wasn’t about protesting as much as it was about giving young people the chance to voice their concerns.
And teachers and administrators were listening.
“Our school doesn’t like to acknowledge that race is a thing,” said Thandiwe Abdullah, an eighth-grader at Laces, a LAUSD school in Culver City.
“I feel like the school criminalizes me; I feel like the school criminalizes a lot of the people of color,” she added.
She, as well as many parents, says there are too many police officers on campuses, especially those with predominately black student populations.
“We see a lot more policing and a lot more aggressive policing I must say without provocation,” said parent Angela James.
The United Teachers of LA helped organize Thursday’s Black Lives Matter event.
LAUSD said they supported the move and the discussions.
After dozens of protests about recent police shootings, organizers said the meeting was about problem solving.
“I’t’s not about protest, it’s about discussion, it’s about dialogue and it’s about having a movement, not a moment,” said Vice President Cecily Myart-Cruz,of UTLA NEA
But James Sykes, who works with kids to reduce gang activity, says young people must also change.
“Their behavior, does at times, make them more of a target,” Sykes said, “But at the same time, it’s a behavior that’s been inherited.”
As adults surrounded the students, Thandiwe says she is thankful she now has a voice.
“White supremacy is just something that has always been there for the longest time, I feel like we can break it right now,” she said.