Problems of the Los Angeles Daytime Curfew Law

LAMC 45.04 : A closer look at the consequences
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Problems of LAMC 45.04 single page print_Page_1.jpgWhy were 12,000 students fined up to $250 each just for being late or away from school in 2008? 

We surveyed approximately 1,400 students and parents, held several focus groups, researched the citation process, and consulted with educational justice and civil rights organizations around the country.  In our new position paper, Problems of the Los Angeles Daytime Curfew Law: Why LAUSD Must Decriminalize Truancy and Tardiness, we argue:

  • that the widespread practice of "truancy ticketing" deeply exacerbates the structural inequalities already faced by the LAUSD's 730,000 students
  • there are significant civil rights harms caused by the "Daytime Curfew Law" and the police involvement its enforcement requires
  • these policies and practices that criminalize truancy and tardiness actually contradict previous LAUSD Board motions

At the end, we offer a set of principles to guide alternative policies, including:

  • a service oriented approach that recognizes truancy and tardiness as a sign of something else going on in the student's life and therefore requires a continuum of services offered to both student and family.
  • involving students in the process, beginning with a discussion as to the causes of tardiness or truancy, with the goal of trying to resolve or help deal with the root causes identified.

We welcome your comments and hope you join us in our No to Pre-Prisons Campaign!