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Media: Sometimes Balanced and Unfair

January 25, 2011
January 25, 2011

Two shootings at or near schools in Los Angeles last week highlight how the media sometimes fail to dig below the surface when a Black male youth is involved.

On Tuesday a 17-year old sophomore was arrested at Gardena High School when a gun he was carrying in his backpack went off, wounding two classmates. The teenager is charged with possessing and discharging a gun in a school zone, both felonies.

On Wednesday, a school police officer was shot near El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, a community arguably more affluent than Gardena. The officer was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously injured. The suspect escaped.

Both schools were locked down after the incidents but media reports on El Camino focused on how the students were kept in the classrooms for hours and were not allowed out to use the restrooms. School superintendent Ramon Cortines rushed to the scene to answer media questions.

In the case of the 17-year old, media reports said he was on misdemeanor probation because of a school fight, had brought a gun to school before, is now in juvenile hall facing felony charges and prosecutors want to try him as an adult.

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