After years of arresting students for on-campus fights and damaging school property, Los Angeles school officials are adopting new policies to reduce the number of students who are disciplined in the juvenile court system. Under new policies expected to be start today, students who deface school property, participate in an on-campus fights or are caught with tobacco will no longer be given citations by officers from the Los Angeles School Police Department. Instead, they will be dealt with by school officials.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the nation’s second-largest school system behind New York City, but has the largest school police force, with more than 350 armed officers. A report last year by the Labor/Community Strategy Center, a civil rights group, found that students at Los Angeles schools were far more likely to receive a criminal citation than students in Chicago, Philadelphia or New York.