Los Angeles, Joining Other Big Cities, Moves to Reduce Police in Schools

Jill CowanShawn Hubler and 

Los Angeles will eliminate a third of its school police officers, joining cities like Seattle, Denver and Minneapolis that took action after Black Lives Matter protests.

LOS ANGELES — After a monthslong push by students in the nation’s second-largest public school system, leaders in Los Angeles approved a plan on Tuesday to cut the district’s security force by a third, joining a growing number of cities that have reduced the presence of police officers in school hallways.

Calls to downsize or significantly alter police forces surged during nationwide protests across the country last summer after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But those efforts have faced roadblocks in the months since, making schools one of the few places where major changes have been enacted.

Districts in MinneapolisSeattle, Oakland, Denver and Portland, Ore., all moved in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death to sever or suspend their relationships with local police departments or reduce their own policing ranks. Some districts have said they are reallocating the funds to hire more social workers and mental health professionals to handle problems instead.

The vote on Tuesday in the Los Angeles Unified School District would also ban the use of pepper spray on students and divert $25 million to programs supporting students of color. It was the result of months of meetings on how best to reconfigure public safety in the district, which serves about 650,000 students.

Read the rest of the story on The New York Times


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