Donor Activism,Youth & Transformative Justice

Major LAUSD Announcement Highlights Work Done To End School To Prison Pipeline

August 19, 2014
By Crystal Shaw

Breaking news!  Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced today that its School Police would no longer issue citations or subject students to arrest for most on-campus fights, petty theft and other minor offenses, but instead refer students to counseling and other services. This policy is a major step toward shutting down the school to prison pipeline and is a major victory for community organizations including longtime Liberty Hill Foundation grantee Labor Community Strategy Center. As reported in the L.A. Times, the Strategy Center’s Community Rights Campaign has been a leader in this work.

The long campaign to end discredited and punitive school discipline practices that increase the drop-out rate and push youth into the criminal justice system is not over, but with this decision, Los Angeles is again leading the way. This is a long-fought battle, but there have been young victors that we've met along the way, including Damien Valentine, a Strategy Center member of the Brothers, Sons, Selves Coalition, who took the LAUSD to task after suffering under discipline policies that were more harmful then helpful as pointed out in the “The School Climate Bill of Rights,” and Nabil Romero, another youth leader who worked with the LCSC to end some of LA school’s harshest truancy policies. The work of these youth leaders, community partners and countless others have lead to today’s important announcement.

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