Use-of-Force Incident Prompts Calls for Change at Lancaster High School
Community activists are renewing calls for the Antelope Valley Union High School District (AVUHSD) to rescind its contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after a school resource officer was filmed wrestling a female student to the ground.
The incident happened Aug. 30 at Lancaster High School.
“What we have heard from the sheriff’s department is that my client was a threat. What was the threat, we haven’t been told specifically. She says all she did was walk up to the school resource officer and say ‘why are you looking at me like that, is something wrong?'” said attorney Lisa Bloom who is representing the student, Mikaila Robinson, and her family. “We are told that she was walking away and he wanted to talk to her and she continued walking away. That is not a justification to take down a child.”
In a statement, LASD said the video shows a deputy “attempting to detain a juvenile student in relation to a criminal complaint. The juvenile physically resisted the detention and the School Resource Deputy used force to effect the detention and take the juvenile into custody.” According to LASD, the student had made threats against deputies.
Both the school district and the sheriff's department have said said they are investigating the incident. Christian Green, a coordinator for the Cancel the Contract campaign, hopes that investigation will eventually lead to the end of the district’s relationship with LASD. The group also wants the California DOJ to open a civil rights investigation “in to the historical and ongoing state violence and white supremacist activities in the Antelope Valley.”
Cancel the Contract has been urging AVUHSD to remove resource officers from its campuses for some time — a move that has been embraced by a number of school districts and universities across the country. AVUHSD rejected those pleas in July and voted to renew its contract with LASD.