Judge orders CA to fix Thomas Jefferson High School education problems

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ByAmy Powell via KABC logo
Thursday, October 9, 2014
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A judge on Wednesday ordered the state of California to fix educational problems at Jefferson High School in South L.A.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A judge on Wednesday ordered the state of California to fix educational problems at Thomas Jefferson High School in South Los Angeles.

School has been in session for eight weeks at Jefferson High, but students say they've spent way too much time out of the classroom.

"It was very stressful having all this free time and asking to be put in challenging courses but they wouldn't do it for me," said Armani Richards, who is a senior.

Scheduling problems were blamed for the chaos that resulted in lost learning time, because classes students needed weren't available.

Some students say they sat in the auditorium, assigned to so-called courses where no instruction actually took place. Other students were sent home early.

Worried about getting the classes they need to graduate from high school and go on to college, students decided to hold a protest several weeks ago.

Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Counsel asked a judge for a temporary restraining order, demanding that state education officials take steps to prevent any further loss of classroom instruction.

The judge granted the order, calling the potential harm to students severe.

"The judge had ordered the state to take measures to first sharply limit the use of these instruction-free periods," said attorney Kathyrn Eidmann.

The judge also ordered state educators to meet with LAUSD officials no later than next week to come up with a plan to help Jefferson students catch up with the course work they need for graduation.