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Topless Protest Averted, But Many Challenges Remain

Today’s Studio City Patch article “A Little School in Crisis, Part 1” clocks in at an astonishing 2,289 words. That’s four times the normal Patch.com website item length.

The first of a four-part series by site editor Mike Szymanski, the article details the uncertain times faced by Valley View Elementary in light of county-wide LAUSD cuts. When word came down last June that 82-year-old principal Harold Klein (pictured) had been given his walking papers, student parents went into overdrive.

Writes Szymanski:

One PTA mother even tried to recruit other moms to join her in standing topless with signs on the nearby Mulholland Drive Bridge over the Hollywood 101 Freeway… The idea was quickly dropped, but such desperate and drastic ideas reflected the frustration of an activist parent population that wants to protect their children’s education.

Klein was re-upped for six more months, while Szymanski benefits in this case from the rather unusual perspective of sitting on councils for the school’s website and PTA committees. On the occasion of his four-month anniversary with the AOL funded start-up, the author deserves credit for trying to raise the Patch reporting bar with this ambitious look at the deteriorating state of things at a school previously attended by the likes of Helen Hunt, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Rita Wilson.

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