Solutions for Los Angeles School Police

A Blueprint for School Police Reform
by: 
The Los Angeles Chapter of Dignity in Schools
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Solutions CoverThe conduct and policies of the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD)--the largest school police department in the county--are having a devastating effect on the low income Black and Latino students inside the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second largest school district in the country.

In our view, excessive use of force and misconduct by LASPD officers is fueling the criminalization of Black and Latino young people, leading to high rates of push-out/drop-out and later to astronomical rates of incarceration for these same communities.

In Solutions for Los Angeles School Police Department, the Community Rights Campaign of the Labor/Community Strategy Center and the Los Angeles chapter of Dignity in Schools Campaign propose a solution in two parts: (1) a longterm guiding framework for reforming school policing and (2) a specific proposal for immediately establishing civilian oversight of school police.

We know that the problems of policing and criminalizing students are not unique to Los Angeles or its schools. Our hope in offering these recommendations is that we can address the crisis in LA schools and, in doing so, contribute to a national effort to confront the root causes of over-policing and mass incarceration of Black and Latino communities more broadly.

In Part 1, School Police Model Policy, we set out 6 major categories for reforming school policing policy: 1) restricting police jurisdiction 2) restricting school arrests 3) restricting searches and seizures 4) establishing civilian review board/community oversight of police conduct 5) instituting transparency and annual reporting, and 6) opening channels for complaints.

In Part 2, Principles of a Civilian School Police Review Board, we set out a detailed proposal to create a democratic, efficient, and community controlled board to immediately establish community oversight of police conduct and practices. This new civilian oversight board would be shaped by six principles: 1) civilian involvement 2) independence 3) investigative power 4) access to data 5) transparency 6) and funding.

Ensuring accountability and transparency at the Los Angeles School Police Department are the highest priority to protecting the civil and human rights of our students and their families and communities.