Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto Carvalho ordered police to be present on campus after three students were hospitalized in a stabbing that temporarily put Van Nuys High School on lockdown earlier this month.
The stabbing occurred Nov. 1 just before 11 a.m.
The school was placed on lockdown immediately after the fight, but Mr. Carvalho said students were back in their classrooms by early afternoon, and their lunches were brought to them. The school operated normally for the rest of the day.
Mr. Carvalho said in a press conference the same day that three students were taken to hospitals—two for stab wounds and another for what he called “battery actions.”
During the press conference, he noted that no police officers are located on the district’s school campuses during the day, under a policy approved by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education in 2020.
However, he said the police “very [appropriately]” responded to the campus within three minutes of the fight being reported.
The superintendent, who was hired in February 2022, also said that despite the board policy against on-campus officers, there will be a police presence on the Van Nuys campus in response to the fight—though he did not say for how long.
“Once you know better, you must do better,” Mr. Carvalho said. “Since I arrived in Los Angeles, I have directed regional superintendents and the principals, if they know of, suspect of any information that would put them in the position of feeling that the presence of a police officer ... to ensure safety and security of the school would be appropriate, they can request the presence of [police]. As of today, Van Nuys will have the presence of an officer within its school facilities.”
District and school officials declined to say how long police would remain on campus and also declined to give an update on the injured students.
LAUSD’s School Police also did not respond to a request for comment.
Last July, Los Angeles Unified’s board and the Los Angeles County Supervisors authorized a program instructing county departments to collaborate with the district on efforts to increase campus safety in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
The program gathered suggestions from school administrators, teachers and parents on ways to prevent violence and to develop a pilot safety program to run in the district’s schools with the highest levels of on-campus violence.