LOS ANGELES — Free laptops were handed out drive-through style at the Southside Church of Christ last month.

Recipients were those who had responded to the Concerned Citizens Community Involvement’s survey, saying they were previously struggling with accessing the internet. Many were students.

What You Need To Know

  • Free laptops were handed out at the Southside Church of Christ in L.A. last month

  • Some parents worry about paying for potential damage to laptops on loan from schools

  • Some students say their school-issued laptops don't work

  • LAUSD released a statement that they remain committed to providing devices and internet access to students who need it

The Concerned Citizens Community Involvement is a south Los Angeles-based nonprofit of the Southside Church of Christ.

“I’m grateful for them giving away free laptops,” said Nathan Ramirez, who goes to Audubon Middle School received one himself.

Like most public school students he had been issued a laptop by the district. However, his mom, Teresa Lira, says that initial computer has some technical glitches that still need work. While they wait for help, Ramirez either shares with his siblings or falls behind.

There is also the issue of returning the computers at the end of the year and the possibility of damage.

“If I’m responsible for, let’s say, my four kids that are in school, and I’m responsible for $1,500 each of them, then God forbid something happens, a fire in the house happens and all gets damaged, then I’m responsible for paying money that I wouldn’t have,” said Lira.

The man coordinating the giveaway, Chris Baccus, says these concerns are especially prevalent in the neighborhoods around the church.

“Based on where you live, you don’t have the resources, unfortunately, that some other people do in other zip codes, and so it’s our job to stand in that gap,” said Baccus.

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson released the following statement on the matter: “Los Angeles Unified remains committed to providing devices and internet access to students who need it. Parents should call their child’s school if a device is lost, broken or stolen or if there is a technical issue, and a replacement will be provided. Local Districts have a supply of devices on hand to ensure a timely replacement.”