Los Angeles School District removes one-third of its police officers

SACRAMENTO – After a month’s push to discredit police in California’s largest public school system, trustees of the Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday approved a plan to cut 133 police positions, pepper spray on students Restrictions on the use and support of students of color amounting to $ 25 million for the programs.

The decision, which substantially reinforces school safety in Los Angeles, was a follow-up to a vote last summer during a nationwide protest over the police assassination of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Amid calls for racial justice, the school board downsized the district’s 400-member police force by 35 percent, leading to the resignation of 20 officers and chiefs who objected to the scrapping of officers’ marks jobs.

Tuesday’s vote was the result of the best meetings to reconfigure public safety in the district, which serves about 650,000 students. The resulting scheme eliminates 70 oath officers who have arrest powers; 62 redundant officers; And one support staff member, leaving 211 officers on the force of the district.

Officials at Los Angeles’ secondary schools will be replaced with “climate coaches” from the community advising students, helping to resolve conflicts and remove implicit bias.

The school district in Oakland, California terminated its police force in June. But members of the Los Angeles school board, who met virtually on Tuesday, have been divided to reduce police presence on campus.

“It’s a big undertaking and requires a lot of coordination,” said Kelly Gonz, a board member, “but I know we know and all believe that our Black students are definitely worth the effort. Huh.”

Another board member, George McKenna, warned that “parents expect safe school from us, and if you think the police are the problem, then I think you have a problem yourself.”

In a statement, the school district’s new police chief, Leslie Ramirez, said the department had already made changes that would limit the presence of uniformed officers on campus. Chief Ramirez said the new plan “lacked potential liabilities, clarity and would result in unintended consequences that would affect the safety of students and staff.”

The $ 25 million in cuts will also help fund a Black Student Achievement Plan, which will include expanded mentoring, teacher development, curriculum change and other programs to support inclusion counseling. Campus police officers will still monitor the schools and be available for emergencies.

A survey from the previous district found that the majorities of parents, students and school staff felt that the police had made their schools safe, but only 50 percent of black parents shared positive views of the school police and Only 35 percent of black students said they felt safe.

On Monday, the district’s Superintendent of Police, Austin Betner, praised the Black Student Achievement Scheme in his weekly address.

“We as a country are systematically failing black children,” Mr. Beatner said. “Schools should be part of the solution, because a great education is the most important part out of poverty.”

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