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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.

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