On Friday, during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Glenn Laird said he was “concerned” and “upset” that the union was engaging in politics that could potentially endanger teachers and students.
“I was very concerned when the call to defund the police came out,” Laird told Steve Doocy. “It just seemed like it was something that was not really what we as a union should be doing.
“I felt it had a real negative aspect about campus security and the security of the communities around the campus.”
Laird claimed he had seen numerous incidents of violence on and near the high school campus, including stabbings and assaults. Laird’s concerns about campus security culminated when one of his former students was shot and killed on school grounds.
Just last year, United Teachers Los Angeles, a teachers union in the area, released a research paper on steps needed to safely reopen public schools and expressed the need to free up additional funding by defunding the police.
“Police violence is a leading cause of death and trauma for Black people, and is a serious public health and moral issue,” the paper said, citing the American Public Health Association. “We must shift the astronomical amount of money devoted to policing, to education and other essential needs such as housing and public health.”
The LAUSD asked, “given broader societal conditions, how do we open physical schools in a way that ensures that the benefits outweigh the risks, especially for our most vulnerable students and school communities?”
The paper added that minority “working communities, where people are more likely to have ‘essential’ jobs” oftentimes have insufficient healthcare and face other risk factors while “the rewards of economic recovery accrue largely to white and well-off communities that have largely been shielded from the worst of the pandemic’s effects.”
At the time, The Los Angeles City Council had already cut the LAPD budget by $150 million and said the money would be re-appropriated for disadvantaged communities.
Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.