Survey: Poor LA Students Scared, Depressed

Youths shows symptoms of clinical depression
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2008 10:22 AM CDT
Survey: Poor LA Students Scared, Depressed
Pastor Mike Cummings, left, a former gang member turned community activist, keeps in touch with other Safe Passage monitors as students leave David Starr Jordan High School in Watts, Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

High-school students in poor LA neighborhoods fear for their safety, show signs of clinical depression, and say the district does a laughable job preparing them for college, the Los Angeles Times reports. A survey of thousands of students from south LA showed more than half felt hopeless and helpless. "They give us the short end of the stick," said one. "They expect us not to amount to anything."

It's no surprise such feelings are widespread, said one clinical pyschologist, given the lack of choices in the students' lives. "They see that their school is failing them, their teachers are failing them," added an organizer of the survey. "There's racial tension and gang violence, and also many feel that their schools are not schools—their schools look more like prisons." (More Los Angeles stories.)

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