School & District Management

L.A. Principal Tackles Discipline Problems

June 14, 2005 1 min read

When Norm Morrow became the principal of Jefferson High School in Los Angeles four years ago, the art deco building was severely overcrowded, had poor security, and—two months into his leadership—was one of 12 schools statewide to be audited because of low academic performance.

“What I saw was a system that cheated the kids,” Mr. Morrow said in an interview last week. “Nobody in L.A. had an answer [to the problems]. I felt the kids deserved better than what they were getting.”

It seems that school officials are still struggling for answers to the problems that have plagued the 3,800-student Jefferson High for years. Recently, the school attracted unwanted national attention for a series of incidents in which student brawls broke out on school grounds. Since then, Mr. Morrow has dealt with a flood of media scrutiny.

The recent fights were sparked by tension between African-American and Hispanic students.

Overcrowding at the school, he said, made it more difficult for school officials. “It’s not easy to control such a situation,” he said.

District officials echoed Mr. Morrow’s sentiments.

“Under the best of conditions, it’s not an easy school to lead,” said Stephanie Brady, the director of communications for the 725,000-student Los Angeles Unified School District. “It takes everyone working together—parents, teachers, students, the community—which is what that principal was working toward.”

Ms. Brady said that, contrary to reports in the local and national media, Mr. Morrow was not asked to step down as principal because of the recent student brawls. In January 2005, he had already told district officials he planned to retire either this July or in January 2006. He plans to be an education consultant upon retirement.

District leaders plan to address safety issues at the school by tightening enforcement of the student code of conduct, installing security cameras this summer, and adding police and staff presence on the campus. Four community committees have been formed to foster diversity education, promote youth tolerance, and provide more after-school activities.

Related Tags:


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Data For the First Time in the Pandemic, a Majority of 4th Graders Learn in Person Full Time
The latest monthly federal data still show big racial and socioeconomic differences in who has access to full-time in-person instruction.
3 min read
Student with backpack.
School & District Management From Our Research Center To Offer Remote Learning in the Fall or Not? Schools Are Split
An EdWeek Research Center survey shows that nearly 4 of every 10 educators say their schools will not offer any remote instruction options.
4 min read
Image of a teacher working with a student through a screen session.
School & District Management Opinion What Does It Mean to Call a Program 'Evidence-Based' Anyway?
States and school districts need to help educators weigh the research on programs. Too often it stops at a single positive study.
Fiona Hollands, Yuan Chang & Venita Holmes
5 min read
A researcher points to charts and data
School & District Management Opinion 8 Considerations for Designing High-Impact Tutoring
The most important rule is to start small and find success before expanding, writes Kevin Newman of the KIPP Foundation.
Kevin Newman
4 min read
A woman tutors a young child.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Svetlana Ievleva/iStock/Getty Images Plus; DigitalVision Vectors)