LA schools grapple with ban on nearby homeless encampments

New rule against adjacent camps is controversial and unevenly enforced.

Principal Andrew Conroy ran down to the lower field at Virgil Middle School in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. It was a Wednesday in November during the middle of the school day, and he had just received notice that smoke was blowing over the fence from the homeless encampment that lined the field’s fence. There, at least 10 tents crowded the sidewalk, packed with bikes, tarps and personal belongings as its residents went about their day.

It was the second time over a few days that a cooking fire had to be put out in the encampments. And it had been just a few months since the Los Angeles city council expanded a ban on encampments to include those within 500 feet of schools and day care centers. Click here to read more: