Compton students hold walkout, protest school conditions

COMPTON, Calif. (KABC) -- A group of more than 200 Dominguez High School students made their voices heard during a walkout Thursday to protest what they say are horrid conditions at the school.

"Our books are tagged on, they're ripped. They're messed up. You can't read them. They have missing pages that you can't even read," said Kacey Odom, a student.

The students refused to go class in protest of just about everything, including an infestation of cockroaches and rats.

"We have rat poop everywhere in some of the special ed classes. We have dust everywhere, which some students are allergic to," described Luz Ramirez, another student.

Odom said the hallways are dirty, and the seats in the classrooms are old and rusty.

"A girl sat down in her seat and it broke," she said.

The list of complaints goes on to teacher layoffs and frustrations that class sizes are too large.

Odom said not every student has a seat.

"Some of them are on the floor, some of them are on top of the tables. It's a safety hazard," Ramirez said.

Principal Vanessa Landesfeind says that's not true.

"We have chairs and we have desks. Anytime we put an extra student into a classroom, we add more chairs to that classroom," Landesfeind said.

Landesfeind said despite the campus being built in 1956, the conditions are not that bad. She said improvements are being made.

"Conditions can always be improved at any school," she said.

Landesfeind said students involved in the Thursday walkout will not be punished, saying she supports their freedom of speech.
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