Daytime Curfew Tickets on School Campus Will Further Pre-Prison LAUSD Youth

Contact Information: 

Manuel Criollo (213) 387-2800

Damon Azali-Rojas

Daytime Curfew Tickets on School Campus Will Further Pre-Prison LAUSD Youth

Community Rights Campaign urges City council to oppose the expansion
of racially discriminatory Los Angeles Municipal Code 45.04
and to implement a moratorium on ticketing

On Tuesday, September 22nd, the Community Rights Campaign will be urging the Neighborhoods and Education Committee of the Los Angeles City Council to oppose the motion to amend Los Angeles Municipal Code 45.04 (LaBonge-Parks) being considered at 3:30pm.

LAMC 45.04 is a daytime curfew law which allows police officers to give $250 "truancy tickets" (plus added court fees) to students who are found out of school or late to school without a valid excuse.  Students must then miss a day of school to appear in court with their parent/guardians. The proposed amendment, developed with the office of LAUSD Board member Tamar Galatzan, would expand the jurisdiction of law enforcement to give citations to students on campus who are found out of class, and would allow officers to issue citations on the first "offense." The motion explains that the proposal is in response to a recent court ruling that prohibits citations on campus and restricts officers to ticket only on the third "offense," although according to surveys of over 1,400 students gathered by the Community Rights Campaign, "first time" tickets are already being given.

"The current move to expand LAMC 45.04 goes against sound educational policy, state education codes, and will create civil rights harms for LAUSD's students, the vast majority of whom are Black, Latino and low-income.   We strongly urge City Council to oppose this regressive and racially discriminatory proposal," said Damon Azali-Rojas of the Community Rights Campaign.

For the past year, the Community Rights Campaign has gathered testimony and research on the impact of LAMC 45.04.  The negative consequences of these citations are numerous, including discouraging students from going to school for fear of being ticketed, causing significant financial and emotional stress on students and families, and creating a more hostile school environment for students.

"We must seek alternatives to address truancy and tardiness that steer our children away from not towards the criminal legal system.  Handing school discipline issues over to police and the courts is pre-prisoning our youth. Rather than expanding LAMC 45.03, our elected leaders should be moving towards repealing it," said Barbara Lott-Holland, mother and member of the Community Rights Campaign.

The Education and Neighborhood currently consists of Council members Janice Hahn and Dennis Zine, with one seat vacant.