Parents Demands Answers at Meeting After Venice High School Sex Crimes Arrests

Fourteen students at the school have been accused of sex crimes involving minors

Parents of students at scandal-enveloped Venice High School said they expected more after a meeting with school administrators Wednesday, about a week after several students were arrested in a sex crimes investigation.

Fourteen students have been accused of sexually assaulting two minor girls since 2013. Thirteen of the 14 students accused of sexual assault, who are aged from 14 to 17, have already been taken into custody, police said Wednesday morning.

"I expected a little more facts and information," attendee Grant Francis said.

But he insisted Venice High is still a fine education establishment, despite its current problems.  

"I hate to see a negative picture being painted of Venice High School, because it's a great school," Francis said.

School officials have said they want to hire more campus aides. There are currently two full-time and another two part-time aides. There are also two campus police officers at the school, and administrators said this is an ample amount. 

One parent claimed administrators turned a blind eye to students drinking and smoking marijuana on campus. Tammy McClanahan tried to raise the issue at the meeting, but her hand-written question was never addressed during the gathering, which was held in the school's auditorium.

"Kids were smoking pot and drinking, a teacher saw it, called administration and school police and couldn't get anybody on the phone," McClanahan said afterwards. She believes the problems at the school are caused by a "break-down at the adult level."

McClanahan, whose daughter attends the school, also said parents were not given the sort of substantial information they were hoping for at the meeting, despite the school's interim principal Fonna Bishop and Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman being in attendance. Cheryl Hildreth, who is Instructional Superintendent for LAUSD's Educational Service Center-West, was also there.

"They talked about a safety plan, but they didn't define that safety plan. I want that defined," McClanahan said, "I want to know what's going on, I want to know what they're going to do."

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