In the summer of 1999, a self-proclaimed white supremacist walked into the North Valley Jewish Community Center and started shooting. The bullets hit the school’s secretary, a teen counselor and three children, all of whom survived. But the trauma of the shooting rippled beyond the immediate victims and throughout the community — to parents and other children present, and to every witness and bystander of every age.
The political question of the week is, "What will David Tokofsky do now?" For four years, Tokofsky, the veteran teacher and former coach of Marshall High School's champion academic decathlon team, has played the role of maverick on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board. He exposed the lack of textbooks in district schools; publicized the scandal-plagued Belmont Learning Complex; crusaded against "faddish" educational philosophies; and urged an end to social promotions (implementation of which was rescinded last week by Superintendent Ruben Zacharias). Against the "Cuckoo's Nest" aura of LAUSD, Tokofsky has sounded like a visionary.