Parents, students protest possible closure of Inglewood school

Parents are fighting back after hearing about the possible closure of yet another school in Inglewood. 

A Valentine's Day themed protest was held Tuesday outside Worthington Elementary School; students say their school is the heart of the community. 

The campus serves about 400 students and is also a dual-immersion school, meaning students learn to read and write in both English and Spanish. 

While the district insists no decision has been made, parents want to make sure the school stays open. 

"Inglewood is getting gentrified, people are getting pushed out of their homes, whether it's a mortgage or rent. Now we're getting pushed out of our schools," said parent Miguel Vargas. 

He says it makes no sense to consider closing one of the only two dual-immersion schools in Inglewood Unified and believes all of
this is a land grab. 

"You got the Clippers arena, you got SoFi, you got the Forum. It's big business," he added. 

"There's been no discussion about the school in that context whatsoever," stated Dr. James Morris, Inglewood Unified County Administrator.

Dr. Morris denies land value was a factor. He was appointed by the L.A. County Office of Education to lead the beleaguered district and says Inglewood Unified is trying to get its financial house in order and adds that enrollment is now 8,000 students, down from 18,000 about 20 years ago. 

"We have too many classrooms and too many schools open for the population that we have in the district," Dr. Morris said. 

He admits Worthington Elementary has not had the biggest drop in enrollment, but says there are other factors. 

"This school was in poor condition overall, and quite honestly, we don't have the money to fix it."

But some parents believe it was neglected as an excuse to close it, and are vowing to fight to keep it open. 

"It really is a good school and the teachers and staff really care a lot about the students," said parent Jamaya Williams.

Dr. Morris says a final decision could be made in mid-March. In the meantime, parents say they plan to pack a school board meeting Wednesday night to let district officials know how they feel.