Media buzzes as nation’s largest school district police force joins LAPD in adopting new protocols

police and student.jpgMedia trumpeted the news as the Los Angeles School Police Department unveiled protocols intended to reduce the number of daytime curfew tickets written to students. The revised procedures are a result of collaboration and discussions between the Community Rights Campaign, Public Counsel, the ACLU of Southern California, Children's Defense
Fund, CADRE, and Youth Justice Coalition - groups that work to keep students in school - and Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) leaders.

The Los Angeles Times quotes LA School Police Chief Zipperman as he empasizes the hoped for result of the new protocol's focus "This notice ... reinforces the [police department's] commitment to support the superintendent's goals of attendance and graduation improvement, and reduce the cycle of student ‘push out,' "  Zipperman said in a statement that accompanied the announcement. He added that, whenever possible, officers should focus on getting a student to school. Nor is truancy, by itself, a justification for "frisks, the use of handcuffs or physical restraints, and searches," Zipperman wrote.

National magazine Colorlines "From our perspective we're creating greater protections for black and Latino youth in LAUSD schools and supporting ending the criminalization of young people," said Manuel Criollo, the director of organizing at Los Angeles-based Strategy Center, which spearheaded the campaign.

Nabil Romero The Daily News quoted Community Rights Campaign member Nabil Romero ""When you're dealing with real-life issues dragging you down and making you late to school, the last thing you need when you get there is to run into police treating you like a criminal and making you feel like there's no point to trying anymore," said Nabil Romero,

NBC news announced it as "LAUSD ditches its hard-nosed truancy prevention program, saying it caused kids to drop out altogether."

The news was carried in both school papers like the Eagle Patch, as well as Spanish language La Opinion and made news as far away as the Silicon Valley's Mercury News.

The revisions to the Los Angeles School Police Department procedures were adopted October 19 and, if fully implemented:
• Stop unjustified ticket "task forces" and sweeps within the first 90 minutes of the start of school.
• Stop ticketing on or near school grounds, where school authorities should be responsible for students.
• Directs police to encourage students to get to school rather than ticketing them.
• Reinforces the requirement that police must ask students if they have a legitimate excuse before writing them a ticket.
• Requires a proactive quarterly monitoring process for the first year to review tickets and the ticketing process and to assess whether the policy is being implemented.
• Makes clear that truancy task forces, also known in the community as truancy sweeps, should not be conducted arbitrarily and without a legitimate and substantiated reason.

To read the full text of the new directive