Most LAUSD Students Headed for Prison; Prison Officials Want to Recruit More Students.
The Los Angeles school system (known officially as the “Los Angeles Unified School District”) has a staff of college counselors to guide students to college. LAUSD school college counselors frequently invite college and university representatives from across the nation to meet with students. Currently, at any time of the year, students are likely to meet and greet with UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, and even Harvard representatives. Members of the U.S. military are also on hand on many occasions to speak to students about life in the military.
Not surprisingly, a state prison, feeling left out of post-graduate recruitment, has asked to be represented on campus, too. Representatives from San Quentin State Penitentiary, a maximum security facility, have asked to be admitted on campus to speak with students about life on its facilities, including its recreational activities, panoramic ocean front views of the Bay Area, eccentric inmates, friendly staff, and nutritious food.
Last fall, San Quentin’s Warden, Jack Anderson, had a private meeting with Los Angeles Unified School District Superintended Roy Romer. Jack Anderson specifically told Mr. Romer that the real truth is that most of the students attending Los Angeles schools will end up being sentenced to his facility for life anyway, and as a result, it would be appropriate for prison officials to be available to answer students questions, provide brochures of the historic facility, and even have field trips.
Mr. Romer appeared rather distraught by the conversation. The LA school superintended interrupted the prison official many times. Mr. Romer said, “Yes, yes, it is true: many of our students will be headed to prison after they graduate from high school. We have gangs and drug dealers. Kids kill each other on our facilities all the time—so it would not be such a radical change for them to live most of their life at San Quentin. However, I am concerned. If we were to invite you onto our campuses, it would suggest that we have a real problem on our hands and that we must fix it. And we do not feel there is any need to reform a school system as great as ours. Yes, most of our students cannot read but know how to pull a gun’s trigger, but the great salaries that our administrators receive in Downtown LA more than makes up for this educational deficiency.”
San Quentin’s Warden understood these concerns quite well. However, Jack Anderson said that the major reason for this recruitment effort is to find a place where most of these students will live once they graduate. “We all know that most of these kids are too stupid to be able to live in freedom and to be able to take care of themselves,” Jack Anderson said. To which Roy Romer responded, “Yes, they are awfully stupid, but if we could convince our brainwashed electorate to cough up another $100 billion to improve our public schools, I am sure that we could get some results.”