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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

L.A. Moves To Arrest Fewer Misbehaving Students

Steve Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles School Police Department, announces the new school discipline initiatives, Aug. 19, 2014. (Los Angeles School Police Department/Facebook)

Steve Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles School Police Department, announces the new school discipline initiatives, Aug. 19, 2014. (Los Angeles School Police Department/Facebook)

Los Angeles public schools are planning to reduce police response to student infractions.

Los Angeles students hold up a banner supporting the new school discipline initiatives, during the announcement on Aug. 19. 2014. (Los Angeles School Police Department/Facebook)

Los Angeles students hold up a banner supporting the new school discipline initiatives, during the announcement on Aug. 19. 2014. (Los Angeles School Police Department/Facebook)

The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the country, after New York, but it has the largest police force. Last year, it issued more than 1,300 citations — many for fighting or for being caught with alcohol, cigarettes or small amounts of marijuana.

In the future, these infractions will be dealt with differently. Students will instead be referred to counseling and other services.

The change is the culmination of a long fight by judges, government officials, advocates and attorneys.

Judge Michael Nash is the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Courts. He has been a juvenile court judge for 25 years. He speaks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

Meghna also speaks with Ruth Cusick, an education rights lawyer for Public Counsel, a national non-profit law firm.

Guests


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  • Rick

    Great, let’s treat the criminals as victims.

    Bad behavior will go up and learning will go down.

    • Mick

      We could just arrest everybody because everyone is guilty of something; it’s just that most people have gotten away with whatever it was they were doing; and that certainly isn’t the lesson we want to be teaching our children. We’ll need a place to put all those kids: Maybe, FEMA could build camps to hold them or something.

  • S David H de Lorge

    There they go again, confounding the word “discipline” with the concept “punishment.”

    Discline is firm, unambiguois guidance toward improved self control and self discipline. Punishment, the concept being discussed with the word “discipline,” is a vengeful infliction of some degree of suffering, whether corporal punishment or incarceration.

    It’s good that they are reducing the use of punishment and replacing it with guidance toward better self control. You can beat a dog for misbehaving, and sometimes teach it not to do that again (or at least to fear you), but you can’t teach it any new, improved behavior that way. Same goes for people, except while they’re failing to learn any new useful behavior, they are learning to be sneaky and resentful. I’d rather have more successfully self disciplined people.

    • Mick

      The beatings will continue until moral improves.
      Management

      • S David H de Lorge

        Thanks. Did you mean morale, or morality? No offense, but both apply and I can’t tell which you mean.

        • Mick

          Morale, although you’re right morality could be substituted in as well. Both would work for this article.

          • S David H de Lorge

            Cool. Thanks.

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