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Police in LAUSD Schools:

The Need for Accountability


and Alternatives

A project of the Community Rights Campaign


in Collaboration with the Los Angeles Chapter of
Dignity in Schools

Community Rights Campaign

Hey LAUSD!

I'm Pre-Med, Pre-Job


NOT Pre-Prison!

Police in LAUSD Schools:


The Need For Accountability and Alternatives
October 2010

Community Rights Campaign

Introduction

On January 26th, 2010, LAUSD students from the Community Rights Campaign launched a new
initiative for greater accountability from the Los Angeles School Police Department with actions at
Manuel Arts, Westchester, and Cleveland High Schools. Students weathered the rain to promote
the campaign to students, teachers and community members at these sites in coordination
with the release of the Community Rights Campaign and Los Angeles Chapter of the Dignity in
Schools, Police in LAUSD Schools. The document calls for greater transparency, accountability
and the creation of new policies and procedures that restrict the use of force and role of police in
our schools to protect the civil/human rights of all LAUSD students.

Police in LAUSD Schools highlights:


News stories and reports on incidents of misconduct by the Los Angeles School Police Department dating back
five years.

Reports of police misconduct gathered from over 1,500 student surveys collected by the Community Rights
Campaign at 18 LAUSD high schools. They include incidents of excessive force and restraint, verbal abuse,
sexual harassment, intimidation, frequent and indiscriminate use of mace and pepper spray on large
numbers of students, racial profiling, handcuffs used on students whose crime was being late,
frequent searches, and more.

Recommendations on principles that should shape the role of school police in our schools, with an emphasis on
non-punitive forms of student accountability, decreased reliance on courts and citations, guaranteed civil rights
protections, and increased use of public health- and mental health-centered interventions.

The five concrete policy recommendations from Police in LAUSD


Schools are:

Establish an independent and enforceable Police Review Board made up of parents, students, and
community members with the power to provide accountability.

Conduct a comprehensive review and assessment with student, parent and community input of the current
standards, procedures, and practices of school police including use of force, arrest, role and conduct.

Provide detailed and publicly available records of LASPD including but not limited to arrests, tickets,
complaints on police misconduct and resolutions to such complaints.

Establish an Office of Equal Protection, as approved but not yet acted upon in the 2007 Equal Protection
motion.

Ensure no collaboration of LAUSD/LASPD with gang database.

Beyond New Leadership New LASPD Chief Selection, We Need a New Commitment to Civil and
Educational Rights. With 340 sworn officers and 147 School Safety Officers, the Los Angeles School Police
Department is the largest school police department in the country. Police In LAUSD Schools was released as the
Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Police in LAUSD Schools: The Need for Accountability and Alternatives

LAUSD Board of Education began the process of selecting a new Chief of Police for LASPD. During the initial release
of this document, we advocated for the LAUSD Board to use this transition in leadership within the LASPD as an
important opportunity to invite parents, students and community members to perform a comprehensive review and
evaluation of current police practices, procedures, and presence in our schools.
Therefore, we took the hiring process as a opening to engage key policy markers around School Police reform.
The Community Rights Campaign and the Los Angeles Chapter of Dignity in Schools 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 from
our two reports, Police in LAUSD Schools and Solutions for Los Angeles School Police: A Blueprint for School Police
Reform, and discuss the possibilities for their implementation within the LASPD. These documents has energized our
grassroots policy and advocacy effortsmoving our discussion around school discipline and policing of students to
center stage.
Denver, Colorado, Birmingham, Alabama, Clayton County, Georgia: There is a growing trend across the country
to adopt alternative discipline policies these cities and counties are introducing policies specifically aimed at reducing
the number of students arrested, referred to court, and pushed out of school through suspensions and expulsions are
being implemented. The Los Angeles Unified School District has already begun to move in the direction of replacing
existing zero tolerance policies with more holistic alternatives through their adoption of School-Wide Positive
Behavior Support (SWPBS) with the support and advocacy parent organization, Community Asset Development Redefining Education (CADRE). Three years later, LAUSD has yet to fully implement SWPBS in all of its schools. We
are encouraging the Board to respect and uphold SWPBS and continue to work with community members and
organizations to develop student-centered and service-centered alternatives.
The work of the Community Rights Campaign to address the criminalization of students and the push out crisis in
Los Angeles is our attempt to contribute to the national effort to reverse and ultimately end the school-to-prison
pipeline and, and more broadly to take a major hit at the mass incarceration of Black and Latino communities. We
believe the reforms in our Police in LAUSD Schools can foster an environment that respects the civil and human
rights of students, encourages greater community transparency and participation and finds common ground in
addressing the root causes of push-out/drop-out.
Thank you,
Kendra Williby and Barbara Lott-Holland
Community Rights Campaign Lead Organizers

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Police in LAUSD Schools:


The Need for Accountability and
Alternatives
Community Rights Campaign

January 2010

in collaboration with Dignity in Schoools - LA


Across the United States, there is a growing presence of police deployed on public schools grounds. In some
larger districts such as Los Angeles and Houston, there are entire school police departments employed directly
by the school district. Police officers on school grounds patrol around schools and inside school hallways and
increasingly districts are turning to law enforcement to enforce discipline rules on and around campus.1 As such,
the increasing presence of law enforcement in schools has contributed to moving student conduct into the
domain of the criminal justice system. This contradicts United Nations human rights standards that school safety
and discipline policies should avoid criminalizing the behavior of children and adolescents.2 Specifically, California
Education Code states that students have the right to be free of being exposed to a hostile environment that
jeopardizes their access to equal educational opportunity.3
The move towards police-in-schools is part of a broader zero tolerance approach to school discipline which
asserts that certain student behaviors should trigger severe, mandatory actions, almost always beginning with the
removal of the child from the classroom.4 Therefore, in practice, zero tolerance means frequent suspensions,
expulsions and arrests for a wide range of infractionsfrom weapons and drug possession to tardiness,
cursing, writing on a desk, or talking back. Numerous studies have shown that zero tolerance policies and
the increasing reliance on school police to handle discipline issues unfairly target students of color and students
with disabilities who, for example, are more likely to be arrested in school and receive harsher punishments for
less severe behavior than their white peers.5 Ultimately, the long term impact of schools reliance on punitive
discipline policies, increased police presence, and court intervention is codifying a school to prison pipeline.6
Contrary to the zero tolerance approach, there is also a growing trend across the country to adopt alternative
discipline policies. From Denver, Colorado to Birmingham, Alabama to Clayton County, Georgia, policies
specifically aimed at reducing the number of students arrested, referred to court, and pushed out of school
through suspensions and expulsions are being implemented. Los Angeles is part of this growing trend through
the LAUSD Boards unanimous approval of the Discipline Foundation Policy based on School-Wide Positive
Behavior Support, led by Community Asset Development re-Defining Education (CADRE). Yet the specific issue of
the role and conduct of Los Angeles School Police has yet to be addressed and its absence stands in the way of
LAUSD fully implementing Positive Behavior Support.
Our analysis is rooted in a belief that the interpersonal school violence and drug use/abuse that exists in LAUSD
schools are rooted in a long history of institutional racism and discrimination that Black, Latino, and other people
of color have experienced in this country. We do not condone this student behavior, but we also firmly believe
that the traditional tough on crime criminalizing approach has only exacerbated these inequities. The punitivesuppression approach leads to more drop-outs/push-outs of our young people towards the criminal justice system,
which in turn leads to more obstacles to employment, deeper poverty and greater chances of incarceration. This
is why we support the positive-support and prevention orientation that addresses and target the root causes of
violence and drug abuse and to create schools where no youth is discarded or pushed out.

The Los Angeles School Police Department


The Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) has 340 sworn officers and 147 School Safety Officers,
representing the largest school police department in the country.7 In the 2007 Equal Protection resolution, the
LAUSD Board directed the District to review and evaluate current school police policies, practices and training
relating to the equitable treatment of students, specifically referring to Black and Latino students. This has yet to
occur. Currently, LAUSD is in the process of selecting a new Chief of Police for LASPD. This transition in leadership
presents an important opportunity for the Board to invite parents, students and community members to perform a
comprehensive review and evaluation of current police practices, procedures and presence in our schools.
Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Los Angeles School Police Department (contd)

LASPD officers and all officers who work in and around schools must be held to particularly rigorous standards of
conduct and accountability because abuses can have lifelong ramifications for youth and their families. As such,
LASPD actions, especially allegations of police misconduct, should be made public and immediately addressed.
Unfortunately, public access to records on tickets, arrests and use of force complaints are restricted.8
Furthermore, an independent and transparent mechanism of accountability does not yet exist. Complaints on police
misconduct are done entirely internally, bringing into question whether a fair and impartial investigation and
result can occur. We hope LASPD shares the desire to be held to these high standards and we know some officers
support this as well.
We can only assume that cases of police misconduct are significantly underreported. Nonetheless, we believe
enough evidence exists to merit significant alarm. A brief survey of news stories begins to paint the picture:
In 2005, two school police officers were caught on video by a school employee punching a student on the
ground at Santee High School.9 The video was sent to KCAL9 who aired the footage and the two officers
were suspended for excessive use of force. Prior to this incident, police had broken up a fight with pepper
spray, sending eight Santee High students to the hospital.
In September of 2006, the Palisadian Post reported an incident of an officer in Pacific Palisades using pepper
spray to arrest two disobedient eighth-graders.10 A crowd of student and adult bystanders, upset by the
officers use of force, were also sprayed. A history of excessive-force complaints against the officer were
then revealed, although the officer had never been suspended. During the 9-month internal investigation,
the officer remained on patrol in the area. The results of the investigation were not fully disclosed.
In October of 2007, Spanish language newspaper Hoy reported on a 15-year-old student of Sylmar High
School being assaulted by school police.11 The incident took place during lunchtime when two LASPD
officers approached the student and took him to a closed bathroom. There, the agents pushed his head
against the wall, elbowed him in the neck, called him names and ultimately he lost consciousness. He spent
the night at the hospital. The father was told the investigation would take 6 months. During that time, one
officer was transferred, but the other remained patrolling the area.
In September of 2009, LA Weekly published a major expose on LASPD, including the story of an officer who
sexually abused a young girl at University High School without repercussions. When the officer was moved
to a patrol officer position, he assaulted another woman (who was not an LAUSD student) after pulling her
car over. The article explains that Board Member Julie Korenstein, then Chair of the Committee on School
Safety admitted that her committee was not even aware that LAUSD had an Internal Affairs unit, or that
the I.A. division regularly placed its probes into misconduct by school cops at the bottom of the pile.12
In Deprived of Dignity, a 2007 report by the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, seven focus groups
were conducted with a total of twenty-two
LAUSD students, eighteen parents and four
high school and middle school teachers. In
these focus groups, students and parents
reported that police use intimidation and
interrogation techniques and excessive physical
force to subdue students, such as slamming
students against walls and grabbing students
by the neck. In some cases, a small disciplinary
issue, like a student cutting class in the hallway,
escalated and resulted in the use of force.
Several students said that constant harassment
and threats from police and security have an
impact on their attitudes and outcomes in
school.
6

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Voices From the Students

13

Through Community Rights Campaign surveys of over 1,500 students in schools throughout the city, we have also
found numerous examples of serious accounts of police misconductexcessive force and restraint, verbal abuse,
sexual harassment, intimidation, frequent and indiscriminant use of mace and pepper spray on large numbers of
students, racial profiling, handcuffs used on students whose crime was being late, frequent searches, and more.

There was a group of people and two students


were supposedly fighting so the school police
sprayed mace at everyone in the lunch area.
My throat was burning and I couldnt stop
coughing.
Black female, 12th grade, Crenshaw
When they gave me the ticket they put me on
the ground and the police had his knee in my
back. He was heavy and the handcuffs were very
tight. After they let me go, my stomach hurt and
my hands hurt, too.
Latino male, 11th grade, Manual Arts
I saw a police tackle a student who was
cooperating, he was getting on his knees and the
police still tackled him, scraped him up badly, and
put his knees real hard on the students neck. The
cop did it all for no reason because the kid was
cooperating.
Black male, 10th grade, Dorsey
When we were walking to school we were 5
minutes from there and 2 minutes late and school
police pulled us over, pushed us on to the gate
and patted us without any questions.
Black female, 10th grade, Westchester
The cops pulled us over for being one minute
late to school. He said it was truancy and put us in
handcuffs. When we asked him to loosen the
cuffs he said No, Im running the show here, not
you.
-Latino male, 9th grade, Westchester

I saw a school police give my friend his number


and told her to call later, but not to tell anyone.
Black female, 11th grade, Manual Arts
My friend got into a confrontation with someone.
They werent fighting, just arguing verbally. The
school police officer came over and sprayed mace
in his face! He then handcuffed him and shoved
him to the ground. This made me upset because he
was already sprayed and couldnt resist, yet he got
thrown to the ground.
Black female, 12th grade, Westchester
I was chilling with my friends who are all Latino. I
assume the police believe that we cannot hangout
with each other unless we are fighting because one
cop surrounded us and called other cops to come.
They searched us all and made us take off our shoes.
One of the cops said, I bet none of you have a
green card. This statement provoked my friend and
made him call the cop a pig and thats why the cops
arrested him.
Black male, 9th grade, LA High
My sister was arrested for being aggressive.
She asked the police why they didnt interfere
earlier and stop the quarrel. They said they
wanted to wait for them to fight so they
could mace them.
Black male, 10th grade, Washington Prep
I saw a school police officer physically hitting a
student and grabbing him by the neck.
Latina female, 10th grade, Washington Prep

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Why Restrict the Role and Conduct of School Police


Zero tolerance and the increasing reliance on law
enforcement have led to the criminalization of
student behavior. Student conduct issues such
as fighting, truancy and tardiness become
crimes, with increased penalties. Students of
color are targeted by the criminalization of student
behavior as they are more likely to be excluded
from school, arrested and referred to juvenile
court even though they do not commit more
14
offenses at school.
Experiencing or witnessing handcuffing,
excessive force, intimidation, verbal abuse, sexual
harassment, frequent searching and questioning
can have serious psychological impacts on
youth, many of whom already suffer from
15
depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The most commonly used tactics to resolve
conflicts for police officers are citations, arrest,
force, or the threat of the use of such tactics.
Nationally, this is why a large number of tickets
and arrests are for disorderly conduct,
detrimental behavior, or disruption. In
many instances, these charges would not even
constitute a crime if they were committed
16
outside of a school by an adult.
Strict security measures and large police
presence can help create a more hostile and
distrusting school environment, especially for
those students already at risk, contributing to

push-out/drop-out.

17

Racial profiling by law enforcement, which has


been well documented throughout the country,
occurs in schools as well. Anecdotal evidence
from LAUSD students demonstrates profiling and
bias by school police. One serious consequence
of this is the profiling of students into the gang
database, a list considered so untrustworthy that
former CA Attorney General Bill Lockyer stated
This database cannot and should not be used, in
California or elsewhere, to decide whether or not
18
a person is dangerous or should be detained.
The presence of school police and involving school
police in discipline issues necessarily leads to more
arrests rather than alternative ways to address
student conduct. This contributes to what has
been termed by the Advancement Project and
other agencies and institutions as the school
to prison pipeline. With 2.3 million people in
prison and 5 million more on probation or parole,
the vast majority of whom are Black and Latino,
it is urgent we do everything possible to steer our
youth away from the legal system.
The involvement of police can lead to
the escalation of a conflict with serious
consequenceshandcuffs, use of force, and most
seriously, arrest. Studies show that being arrested
in school nearly doubles the odds of dropping
out of school and, if coupled with a court

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Guiding Principles for LAUSD/LASPD


Accountability and Alternatives
a) Strict restrictions on the use of force by police in schoolsSchool must be a place
where students feel safe and free from abuse or harassment by police, who carry significant
power and have the ability to inflict serious physical and emotional harm on students and
consequently their families. Even the mere presence of fully armed police officers can impact a
youth, instilling fear and normalizing the presence of weapons.
b) Restrictions on the role of police in schoolsThe ACLUs 2009 white paper, Policing in
Schools: Developing a Governance Document for School Resource Officers in K-12 Schools,
provides a critical lens to reconsider the role of police in our schools. The overall principle is
that we must set clear guidelines on what police are not involved in, in order to minimize
escalation of conflict, arrest and court appearances of our youth. For example, acts including
but not limited to disorderly conduct, trespassing, insubordination, verbal abuse/harassment,
vandalism and/or graffiti, disturbance, loitering, profanity and fighting that does not involve
a weapon should be considered issues of school discipline and not involve the police.
c) Clear and independent mechanisms of accountability for police misconductAs it
currently stands the LASPDs Use of Force Review Board is made up entirely of police officers
with no civilian oversight or public access to records of complaints and resolutions. The
process of filing the complaint must be clear, accessible and well publicized to all members
of the school community.
d) Ensure school discipline is in the hands of schools and fully complies with Positive
Behavior Support (PBS) standardsIn order to minimize arrest and involvement of the
criminal justice system and support the full development of our youth, it is imperative the
district see discipline as the responsibility of the school community, including educators,
administrators, students and families, and not the police.
e) Invest in services and alternatives A more effective and holistic approach to creating
a safe school environment is to invest in alternatives such as peer mediation, counselors,
conflict resolution, tutoring and mental health services. Such alternatives move away from
criminalizing student behavior towards addressing students academic and nonacademic
needs while teaching students how to handle their problems and conflicts on their own.
f) Creation of a public health approach to interpersonal school violence and drug use/
abuse inside our schoolsOne of the leading reasons students are arrested in schools is
drug use. Criminalizing this behavior does nothing to address the underlying causes of drug
addiction/abuse. Youth who are using drugs need support and appropriate drug education
and treatment, not handcuffs. Similarly, there is a growing trend across the country to look
at youth violence as a public health epidemic, asserting that you cannot arrest your way out
of youth violence. This approach is rooted in the idea that most violence is preventable, not
inevitable, and requires a comprehensive and multidisciplinary effort to address the complex
underlying contributors to violence.20

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

I used to hang out in this one area of school where the greasers hung
out. One day the school police came and told them to get out of that area,
giving no reason as to why. They all start to clear the area, except for one
of the girls who was gathering her books. One officer then quickly corners
her and starts screaming out orders for her to get out, all the while the
girl looks frightened and she tries to explain that she was just getting her
stuff. All of a sudden the officer grabs her in a choke hold! She kept
trying to say I cant breathe. We told the officer to let go of her because
she was turning bright red, but instead of listening, she kept her choke
hold and led the girl in this position all the way to the Deans office. The
Assistant Principal passed by and all he said was Pick up your trash. We
didnt see her for like two weeks, and it had turned out that her mother
transferred her out because the girl felt so humiliated and afraid to
come back.
-Lissett Lazo, Cleveland High School Class of 2008,
Youth organizer, Community Rights Campaign

Policy Recommendations
1. Establish an independent and enforceable Police Review Board made up of parents, students,
and community members with the power to provide accountability. The Review Board must have the
following features: guided by civilian involvement, independence from law enforcement agencies,
unrestricted investigatory power, transparent to the public and adequate funding. Please see forthcoming
Community Rights Campaign Proposal for an Independent Elected Civilian Review Board for LASPD.
2. Conduct a comprehensive review and assessment with student, parent and community input of
the current standards, procedures, and practices of school police including use of force, arrest, role and
conduct. Special attention should be given to the issue of racial bias as approved but not yet acted upon
in the 2007 Equal Protection and Civil Rights for All Students Board motion. Through a collaborative
effort with the Dignity in Schools Campaign, we are working on a forthcoming report that proposes
changes to LASPD guidelines.
3. Provide detailed and publicly available records of LASPD including but not limited to arrests,
tickets, complaints on police misconduct and resolutions to such complaints.
4. Establish an Office of Equal Protection, as approved but not yet acted upon in the 2007 Equal
Protection motion, to serve as a clearinghouse for claims of discrimination by students and parents with
a process for resolutions.
5. Ensure no collaboration of LAUSD/LASPD with the gang database.

Conclusion
We write this document to contribute to the efforts to reform our public schools and decreasing the number
of youth who are pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system . We know that once in the
system, many of our youth will never get out of it. This is why policies and practices that push out and
criminalize our students must end. We know many LAUSD Board members, community members, parents,
youth, other organizations, and school police officers share this goal. An in-depth analysis of the role and
conduct of school police is needed to seize the critical opportunity the district has in selecting the new chief of
school police. The Community Rights Campaign and Dignity in Schools urges the LAUSD Board to create new
mechanisms and policies that hold the Los Angeles School Police Department accountable to the civil/human
rights of all LAUSD studentsspecifically by creating new LAUSD policies to restrict the role and use of force
of LASPD inside our schools and an independent civilian review board.
10

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

End Notes
1. National Juvenile Defender Center. Defending Clients Who Have Been Searched and Interrogated at School: A Guide for
Juvenile Defenders, 2009.
2. National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. Deprived of Dignity: Degrading Treatment and Abusive Discipline in New York
City & Los Angeles Public Schools, March 2007.
3. http:/www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=edc&group=00001-01000&file=200-201
4. New York Civil Liberties Union and Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Safety With Dignity: Alternatives to the OverPolicing of Schools, July 2009.
5. National Economic and Social Rights Initiative. Deprived of Dignity: Degrading Treatment and Abusive Discipline in New York
City & Los Angeles Public Schools, March 2007.
6. For further readings on the school to prison pipeline - Advancement Project, Education on Lockdown: The Schoolhouse to
Jailhouse Track, 2003.
7. http://www.laspd.com
8. In order to access Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) records, a member of the public must know how to write
a formal public records requests, something the average person does not know how to do. Further, through our own
experience of submitting such records requests, we have found it difficult to get the full information requested, and we are
an experienced organization with access to lawyers. As explained by Interim Chief Bowman at the October 20th Committee
as a Whole, the LASPD has only two staff that keep and process records. It is unacceptable that an understaffed records
department can be an excuse to cover up possible civil rights violations against the students in LAUSD.
9. http://www.garmentandcitizen.com/category/archives/archived-news-stories/2005-12-21-0_483.php?sort=5d&page=82
10. http://www.palisadespost.com/news/content.php?id=2860
11. Castro, Francisco. Alumno Denuncia Ataque de Polica Escolar. Hoy,12 October 2007.
12. While aspects of this expos may be far reaching, the concrete incidents of misconduct exposed cannot and must not be
discarded. Further, through our own attendance of the School Safety Committee (which no longer exists), issues of police
conduct were rarely if ever discussed, as the article describes.
13. These quotes were selected from surveys and focus groups we conducted with LAUSD students throughout the city.
14. National Juvenile Defender Center. Defending Clients Who Have Been Searched and Interrogated at School: A Guide for
Juvenile Defenders, 2009.
15. A survey of over 6,000 South Los Angeles high school students by the organization Community Coalition in 2008 found
widespread symptoms of depression, and identified student mental health as a contributing factor to the drop-out crisis
plaguing South Los Angeles schools.
16. Advancement Project, Education on Lockdown: The Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track, 2003.
17. Beger, Randall R. The Worst of Both Worlds: School Security and the Disappearing Fourth Amendment Rights of Students.
Criminal Justice Review, Autumun 2003.
18. Pintado-Vertner, Ryan. How is Juvenile Justice Served? Racially biased system just sweeps troubled youths under the rug. The San
Francisco Chronicle, 27 February 2000. Appearing in the gang database has serious consequencesit is used to determine gang
enhancements or increased sentencing and is frequently used by prosecutors to leverage a plea. Further, the database is secret
you are not told if you are on it and there is no mechanism to remove your name from it.
19. Sweeten, Gary. Who Will Graduate? Disruption of High School Education by Arrest and Court Involvement. Justice
Quarterly, December 2006.
20. We are influenced by these two document: Skagar, Rodney, Beyond Zero Tolerance: A Reality-Based Approach to
Drug Education and School Discipline, Drug Policy Alliance, 2007 and http://www.preventioninstitute.org/documents/
PreventingViolenceFAQ10809.pdf

Photographic Credits
Page 2: http://www.life.com/image/52675431
Page 4: http://www.goldenme.com/hotissue/story3/index.html
Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

11

What YOU Can Do


1. Collect stories of youth and parents who have experienced or witnessed incidents with school
police such as: police being called in for routine discipline issues, excessive force, arrest, handcuffing,
verbal or physical abuse. These stories are critical as we build our case at LAUSD.
2. Endorse the Community Rights No to Pre-Prisons Platform.
3. Send a letter to your LAUSD Board Member and Interim Chief of Police Michael Bowman urging
them to support the Community Rights Campaign policy recommendations on school police. Visit
www.lausd.net to find your representative.
4. Join the Community Rights Campaign by becoming a member or making a donation.
5. For additional resources and information on Dignity in Schools Campaign,
visit: www.dignityinschools.org

For more information, contact Kendra Williby at (213) 387-2800 or


kendra@thestrategycenter.org

Hey LAUSD!

I'm Pre-Med, Pre-Job


NOT Pre-Prison!

Community Rights Campaign


3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010
T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500
www.thestrategycenter.org

The LABOR/COMMUNITY
Strategy Center
This document was produced by the Community Rights Campaign in conjunction with the
Los Angeles Chapter of Dignity in Schools Campaign
12

Community Rights Campaign 3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 T 213.387.2800 F 213.387.3500 www.thestrategycenter.org

Hey LAUSD!

I'm Pre-Med, Pre-Job


NOT Pre-Prison!

On-the-ground groups speak:


In Police in LAUSD Schools, CRC and DSC-LA
have issued the LAUSD Board and the larger
community a bold call to action. We all want
our school communities to be safe, but we cannot
tolerate the overt and harmful criminalization of
our youth. Its time for the LAUSD Board to create
meaningful oversight of the LASPD by following the
recommendations of this report.
-Ruth S. Cusick, Staff Attorney, Advocates for
Children of New York, Inc.
The work of the Community Rights Campaign
is critically important to understanding the
impact of education and justice policy decisions
on students of color. There is an urgent need
for Los Angeles policymakers to address the overcriminalization of LAUSD students by implementing
the recommendations offered.
-Jim Freeman, Staff Attorney, Advancement
Project (Washington, DC)
If the intended use of police in schools is
designed to foster safer learning environments,
this report throws a cold splash of reality in
a much needed way. The successful efforts of
students from Padres y Jovens Unidos in Denver to
overhaul the discipline code and create Restorative
Justice Programs was guided by the belief that
all students deseve a college ready education
and that flawed zero tolerance policies increase
racial disparities in push-out, attendance, and
graduation rates. This report is similarly grounded
and not only highlights disturbing patterns and
impacts on individual students, but it comes loaded
with solutions and a call for justice for LAUSD
communities.
-Marco Nuez, Director of Organizing, Padres y
Jovenes Unidos
This report on police in LAUSD schools raises
some very important questions about how the
adults in the building are interacting with our
children in regards to the disparate discipline
policies applied to Brown and Black students.
These accounts of mistreatment of our children
by ALL adults, and the call for more transparency
and date collection will enable us to monitor and
evaluate the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of our
discipline policies.
-Angelica Salazar, former LAUSD teacher and
child advocate.