The school police gave Michael his first ticket in 6th grade for getting into a fight with his friend. His home life was rough and the new, punitive middle school environment was overwhelming him. His mother reached out to the school for support and was told that it was not the school’s responsibility, Michael simply needed to “behave.”
So when Michael started missing class, the police gave him a “truancy” ticket. When he was accused of writing on a wall, they gave him a “vandalism” ticket. Instead of getting help from a counselor, he was spending more and more time in court and doing community service that had nothing to do with his educational and emotional needs.
10,000 tickets & 1,400 arrests
As LAUSD students, The Labor/Community Strategy Center demands justice for Michael and the more than 10,000 youth like him who are experiencing the same harms:
• LA School Police issued over 10,000 tickets and made over 1,400 arrests for student discipline issues in 2011
• 94% of the tickets went to students of color
• 43% of the tickets went to youth 14 and younger
• Police are ticketing Black students for fighting at nearly 3 times their rate of enrollment (29% of the tickets for 10% of the student population)
The constant pressure of this policing–stopping you, searching you, questioning you, ticketing you, arresting you–creates a pre-prison school environment where it is not safe for Black and Brown youth to struggle, grow, and find their way in life. These “zero-tolerance” punishment policies are alienating youth from their own futures.
LAUSD! Stop the tickets & arrests…your job is NOT done until ALL students’ rights are protected!
LAUSD took a major step earlier this year by cutting down tardy and truancy ticketing, and partnering with new Youth WorkSource Centers. But it’s not enough.
The Labor/Community Strategy Center is calling on the Superintendent Deasy and the LAUSD Board to act immediately to protect LA students from these harmful school policing practices by adopting the Community Rights Campaign’s comprehensive Equal Protection Plan that includes:
• Cut all school-based tickets and arrests by at least 75%
• Reduce the role of police in all school discipline matters
• Targeted reductions of ticketing for Black and Brown students and schools
• Establish a school-based parent and student panel to review police conduct
• Full implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (SW-PBIS); creation of Restorative Justice programs as a solution for school fights/conflicts