LA Times - Front Page - Jose Lara visits homes to reduce truancy rates


Jose Lara on the front page of the Los Angeles Times (September 17, 2016)

"Four weeks into the new school year, Jose Lara, the dean of a South Los Angeles high school, approached a sagging white bungalow and shook the gate, summoning the household’s guard dog, a Chihuahua.

“Do you know where Stefani is?” he asked the woman who opened the door. She didn’t — in fact, no one knew where the 10th-grader was. The year before, Stefani had attended Lara’s school, the institutional-sounding Santee Education Complex. But over the summer she had disappeared with her 25-year-old Salvadoran boyfriend.

She was 16, her mother was dead, and her father was absent. The only people looking for her were an LAPD detective and Lara.

Lara climbed into his car, consulted his spreadsheet of missing students, and made a note by Stefani’s name."

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