Surrounded: Killings Near School, and the Students Left Behind

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A groundbreaking series by the LA Times highlights the vast physical and psychological trauma that thousands of students face when navigating safe paths to schools. Each day, South Los Angeles students must travel through multiple gang territories amid threats of robbery, harassment, sexual assault, and pedestrian hazards just to begin their school day. Highlighted in the report are three students’ complicated journeys, Carl Hill by foot, Isabella Mejia by bus, and Cheyenne Boone by car.

The report also uncovered new data, determining that 13 campuses in Los Angeles County experienced at least 50 homicides within a one-mile radius of schools, with most of these schools located in South Los Angeles along the 110 Freeway. UPI was grateful to contribute to this reporting and remains committed to improving community health and safety in South Los Angles. UPI leads a Safe Routes to School initiative to engage residents, school administrators, and political leaders in creating safer streets for youth and families. Within this series, community policing efforts, as well as the work of our long-time gang outreach partner, Chapter Two, are mentioned as part of the solution to mitigate violence and trauma. The LA Times release of the “Surrounded” series is ongoing and can be accessed here.