Grassroots Policy to Transform LAUSD School Discipline & Policing of Students
By: Kendra Williby, Community Rights Organizer
The Community Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Dignity in Schools Campaign has recently re-released our two policy reports, Police in LAUSD Schools: The Need for Accountability and Alternatives and Solutions for Los Angeles Schools Police Department: A Blueprint for School Police Reform!
Real LASPD reform is now on the table!
For the past two months, the proposals in our Solutions for Los Angeles Schools Police Department document have been part of a successful organizing and advocacy effort. We are now in a strong enough position to move them into actual policy changes.
When we first published these policy recommendations, the LAUSD Board was in the process of hiring a new Chief for the Los Angeles School Police Department. We took the hiring process as a window of opportunity. The Community Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Chapter of Dignity in Schools Campaign began meeting with LAUSD Board Members, Monica Garcia, Steve Zimmer, Nury Martinez, and Yolie Flores, Interim Chief Michael Bowman, and Lieutenant Chris Stevens to discuss reforms of existing school discipline policies.
Since then, we have developed effective working relationships with these decision makers at LAUSD and the LASPD. Recently, LAUSD Superintendent Cortines incorporated two of our demands into the hiring process for the new Chief of School Police: (1) hold a public forum for the larger community to engage with the final candidates; and (2) make our policy recommendations part of the interviewing agenda with the final candidates.
Beyond the hiring, we are currently working with policymakers to review each individual policy recommendation and discuss the possibilities for their implementation within the LASPD. Just last week, the top leadership and policy makers at LAUSD and LASPD meet around the implementation of our policy recommendations calling for 6 major restrictions on the role and use of force of Los Angeles School Police and a School Police Civilian Review Board. In the next week or so, we should have a clearer sense of the changes that the Board has agreed to move forward with.
For more information, visit the Community Rights website.