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In Response To Sandy Hook School Shooting, LAUSD Plans To Hire 1,000 Unarmed Campus Aides

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A mother drops her daughter off at at Farmdale Elementary (Photo by neontommy via the LAist Featured Photos pool)
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Los Angeles Unified School District announced a new $4.2 million plan to hire more than 1,000 part-time, unarmed campus aides in an effort to improve elementary school campus security after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. But critics are skeptical the plan will do much to actually make the district's elementary campuses any safer.

Each of the district's 400 elementary school campuses will receive at least two aides each as soon as March 1, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The campus aides won't have guns, but they will have two-way radios and vests, according to a district memo. They will work 3-hour shifts. The aides will be trained online to mediate conflict, respond to campus threats, conduct metal detector searches and respond to a school lockdown.

"Another two people on each campus can help us maintain a safe environment that can ease the minds of our employees, parents and students," said LAUSD school board president Monica Garcia. She called the plan a "small but significant strategy."

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But critics say this plan sounds like "security on the cheap." Scott Folsom, a Mount Washington Elementary School Parent Teacher Association member said it's all "smoke and mirrors."

The district says that they have reached out to laid-off LAUSD employees to fill the positions. But Folsom says he'd prefer the district hire people who are trained, uniformed and full-time: "They don't have to be armed policemen, but they need to be real security guards."

In the meantime, the Los Angeles Police Department said that it plans to continue its ramped-up patrols on campuses for the foreseeable future.