LOS ANGELES – Today, George Gascón called on the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education to disband the Los Angeles School Police Department. The Board of Education is weighing three proposals at its meeting today, one of which calls for a 90 percent reduction in the LAUSD police budget by 2023-2024.
“Our schools can be a haven of safety without armed police officers walking the halls,” said former District Attorney and Assistant Chief of the LAPD, George Gascón. “Unfortunately, our schools have become yet another place where black and brown students feel targeted by law enforcement, rather than supported in a safe learning environment. Indeed, a disproportionate number of black, latino, LGBTQ and those who have disabilities are taken out of their classes for minor incidents. Those who are disciplined are far more likely to drop out of school and become entwined in the legal system, as dropouts are disproportionately likely to turn to crime.
The future of our children and the safety of our communities depends heavily on keeping kids in school, and there’s no science or data that suggests large numbers of police are helping, rather than hurting, that fundamental reality. In the event of a violent event, local police can respond just like they would to any other facility in our community. Ultimately, onsite unarmed personnel can protect the safety of students in school at a fraction of the cost. That, in turn, would enable scarce resources to be diverted to counselors, psychologists, and nurses who are notoriously underfunded within our education system, and whose involvement in a young person’s life is far more likely to produce favorable longterm outcomes for students and the broader community.”