With the 2011/2012 school year scheduled to begin on September 6, local youth advocate Joe Carmona is relaunching his campaign to run a gang intervention program at Luther Burbank Middle School.
Carmona, who is a youth advocate for the Northeast Church of Los Angeles, ran the Peace Warriors program at the school during the 2008/2009 school year. He claims the program was directly responsible for reducing the number of suspensions in the school that year from 650 to 120.
However, Peace Warriors was shut down by former Luther Burbank Middle School principal John Samaniego, after parents complained that the program catered to unruly students.
In January, Carmona wrote to Los Angeles City Council member José Huizar, asking that he be allowed to again run his Peace Warriors program at Luther Burbank.
"I am asking you to organize a committee that will have the intent of asking LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines to put me under his direct authority to have me put a Peace Warrior Program at Luther Burbank, Irving and Schools," the letter reads. "The Peace Warriors program is simply to find the student school leaders and organize them to help stop gang violence at their respective schools."
At tonight's Meeting, Carmona is scheduled to present his latest gang intervention effort, Peace Inc., in hopes or receiving a letter of support that he can present to Councilman Huizar.
In May, Carmona told Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch that a program like Peace Inc., which focuses on empowering "at-risk" students, is the key to solving the gang-related problems at Luther Burbank.
"You have to be in the schools every day, establishing relationships with students," he said. "If you're not doing that, you're not going anywhere."
Tonight's Historic Highland Park Neighborhodo Council Meeting is scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. at the .