New LAUSD Truancy Policy Easier on Students

The effort is aimed at decreasing the possibility that minority students are being disproportionately targeted.

LAUSD students who are running late for school but are on the school property or nearby will no longer be issued citations under a more moderate truancy policy adopted by the District’s police force, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Friday.

The new policy is aimed at countering a public perception that students in low-income and minority neighborhoods are being disproportionately targeted even though many of them are merely late for school, according to the paper.

Citing students for being late results in their being even more late for class because they have to wait while Los Angeles School Police officers issue tickets, the Daily News reported, adding that the citations then force schools to miss school outright because they are required to appear in court to deal with the $250 violations.

“A memo from school police Chief Steven Zipperman also reminds officers to consider the spirit of the city's daytime curfew ordinance—to prevent truancy—before taking action and they should ask students if they have a legitimate reason for not being in school,” the paper reported. “It also states that students over 18 should not be cited.”

To read the Daily News article, click here.

Jennifer N October 25, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Students are usually not cited until several interventions have happened first. This is another example of less and less responsibility being placed on parents and students.
Ajay Singh (Editor) October 25, 2011 at 06:14 PM
Thanks, Jennifer—just wondering: Are you also suggesting that the Los Angeles School Police should *not* ease up on ticketing students (on their way to school, say), thereby indirectly placing both the social and legal responsibility for truancy on parents and students? Would love to hear other readers' thoughts on this issue as well.
Robert D. Skeels October 27, 2011 at 06:57 PM
It's about time that the racist LAPD policy of citing children on their way to school be ended. You would never see police ticking students five feet from the school when the bell rings in Holmby Hills, Bell Air, or Beverly Hills, but in our neighborhoods this was an epidemic. There's a vast difference between actual truancy and running late. I know many privileged readers here don't understand, but the crushing demands and stresses of poverty make for situations where lateness is unavoidable. Not everyone has the luxury of dropping their kids off in the BMV while using their iPad to post classist and ethnocentric comments on patch. I recently attended a forum at the California Endowment entitled "Punishing our Future: School Discipline in Los Angeles." One of the panelist discussed that not only were the children of the poor and immigrant communities being targeted, but that the financial burden of the exorbitant fines were devastating to families victimized by these policies. Even the LAPD officer on the panel said he was relived that the policy was relaxed. http://www.calendow.org/Article.aspx?id=5691&utm_source=CenterScene+Public+Programs+Events+List&utm_campaign=4a4a6eb820-School+Discipline+Oct.+5th&utm_medium=email&utm_source=CenterScene+Public+Programs+Events+List&utm_campaign=6788936a2d-School+Discipline+Oct.+5th&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Oct.+5th+RSVPs&utm_campaign=c3f930740f-School+Discipline+Oct.+5th&utm_medium=email
Ajay Singh (Editor) October 27, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Many thanks, Robert. Would you have any insight into how these "policies" get off the ground in the first place? Who are the (evidently ignorant, careless or just plain racist) people behind them?
xoxo October 28, 2011 at 04:52 AM
Robert, can you tell me what you recommend to get these kids into school? The new policy is not different from the present......My suggestion at the 20th tardy they should be given a truancy ticket.....I also don't understand how its racism if the student and parent get to school tardy, nobody can predict who it will be or plan tickets. If most of LAUSD is minority students then its logical minority students would receive most of the tickets. Irresponsible people need support, intervention...and then what....


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