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Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Feb 2, 2018

Is it time to give students and teachers what they want? That would be the total freedom on school campuses they demand, irrespective of safety.

Would it reduce taxpayers’ expenses?

For some history, the Los Angeles School Police Department was established in 1948. In 2016, laschoolreport.com reported this department oversees 664,000 students and 60,000 employees.

As of 2016, the department consisted of 410 sworn officers, 101 school safety officers and 34 civilian support personnel, with any given portion on duty 24/7 in 26 cities.

This is no half-baked operation.

There are canine and investigative units along with a critical response team, an anger management team and police academy magnet schools.

Seven divisions have their own police cars and motorcycles, and there is a Multi-Assault Counter-Terrorism Attack Capabilities (MACTAC) for the obvious: terror threats.

In the summertime, they visit early education and elementary schools, and they participate in Beyond the Bell programs.

There’s more to applaud about this police force, but overall, they work hard to build positive relationships with the students.

Are schools safer for students, teachers and other employees? According to Chief Steven K. Zipperman, the answer is a mixed bag, as it “depends on what prism we’re looking through” to gauge safety.

The prisms would be lack of crime overall, number of weapons seized, a feeling of safety coming to school; or is it “the amount of or lack of suspensions or expulsions?”

The LAUSD reported 3,103 incidents for the 2014-2015 year – an increase from 2,425 in 2013-2014, or about 28 percent.

Incidents reports included 1,163 sex crimes or inappropriate behavior, and 746 cases of finding illegal or controlled substances, with 839 weapons confiscated.

With that background, here’s what is happening on February 24: a rally to organize students “against the district’s police force” (Daily Wire, January 29, 2018).

The most prominent co-sponsors are the United Teachers Los Angeles, Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union.

I repeat: “against the district’s police force.” Its title is “Making Black Lives Matter in Schools.”

The featured speaker is to be police abolitionist Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

The LAUSD flyer implores: (1) “Join the next round of our fight to end random searches and criminalization;”

(2) calls for “community schools funding;”

(3) “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Item 1: review the aforementioned statistics from the LAUSD.

Item 2 is bewildering, considering the California Department of Education cited that for 2014-15, K-12 education and child development cost taxpayers $45 billion, accounting for 40 percent of the state’s budget. More staggering is that overall, California’s public school spending was $76.6 billion, which includes federal funds and other sources.

Item 3 comes from the honoring of Assata Olugbala Shakur, once part of the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army (a famed revolutionary extremist group), and one of the FBI’s “Most Wanted.”

With a lengthy criminal history, she was imprisoned for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey state trooper. She escaped in 1979 after serving two years and now lives under political asylum in Cuba.

The collective activists’ aim is to end random police searches, with some voicing “abolishing policing” altogether.

They claim that existing policies are “racist” and “disproportionately” target and “criminalize” non-white students.

One district-employed English teacher at the microphone of an earlier protest said, “We’re going to get these cops out of our schools, and we’re going to end these random searches, and we’re going to be proud to be black and brown.”

The claims of police activity being racist and disproportionate are unsupported by surveys from the Census Bureau and American Community Survey (2013).

Los Angeles’ ethnic composition was stated at nearly 70 percent non-white. Non-Hispanic whites were 29.4 percent.

In 2016, Cecily Myart-Cruz, a vice president of both UTLA and the National Education Association, told a local news station, “It’s about having a movement, not a moment.”

Considering crime data, it’s hard to fathom the concept of “over-policing” on our campuses.

 

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident who believes in the Constitution in its entirety and that laws should be upheld and apply to everyone equally.

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. gary says:

    Better watch out, Betty. Those dark people you fear and loathe so much are coming to get you.

  2. mellie says:

    YOU “watch out”: she doesn’t “fear and loathe” them; she is telling YOU the truth about them and YOUR leftist attitude.

  3. Nancy Hill says:

    NOT HAVING SCHOOL POLICE is insane. Certainly there will be more trouble on LAUSD campuses & can’t see this getting passed. Students and liberal teachers think they can control everything.
    THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

  4. jim says:

    Well Betty, you are some years older than I am, so we may have had similar experiences in “elementary”, “Jr. High” and “High” School.

    Not being a parent, I only know what I hear and see in my extended family. And what I think I know is that we (1950 birth to 1965) lived in a wondrous fairy land of thrumming economies, and only worried about the Effing Russians bombing us into oblivion. I’m glad we didn’t buy a fallout shelter back then because it would have dumped the value of our home by a lot in the 80’s.

    In case you’ve forgotten, there were no “School Police” back then. Nor did LAPD or any other police force show up on campus for any reason other than to do a show and tell (and occasionally lock up a juvie defendant). And even then they always sent the youngest (and best looking) officers to connect with us youngsters.

    Well, the nukes didn’t fall and we stopped doing the “Duck and Cover” dance after a while.

    And I still think that the education I received from LAUSD was excellent.

    As far as Education (capital “E”) is concerned, I had a decent one, that taught me the basics and allowed be to excel in those areas I could.

    Turns out I liked History and therefore Politics, although the latter not so much; mostly because it seemed like going through the looking glass from Science Fiction.

    I’ll tell you what; most of the fiction I read back then could not have convinced me that the world we now live in was even a possibility.

    I cannot begin to explain why the education I received (and thrived upon) is no longer relevant today. I still know much more about the world, history, politics, and governing than any of my friends’ kids, much less THEIR kids.

    I like TV, I still watch TV, and I do go online and pay attention to certain websites and blogs that seem relative to my life today. And I still read a giant bag of fiction, history, and intermixed books to keep my interest, and hopefully my mind current and functioning.

    So Betty, just what is it about today that bothers you so much? Politics? I can assure you that none of us singular voters really matter anymore. The recent decisions by the so-called Supremes have assured that money is more important than voters when it comes to elections. The only difference between California voters, and the rest of the US is that we get bought up on local issues, and ignore the national issues. Just like most of the rest of them, except for the liberal thing.

    Hell, if we all (members of the US States) were fully educated and aware voters that could tell a poke from a pig, we’d have an entirely different government. If of course, we had reasonably qualified Senators and Representatives who hadn’t already sold out to other big money fund raisers. AKA banks, corporations, Unions, and fund-raising corporations that can hide their actual owners, and of course the Two Parties.

    So what exactly is your bitch about this? Seems like you should be reveling in today’s wallow.

  5. Rudy Perez says:

    In behalf of the 500 men and women of the Los Angeles School Dolice Department thank you very much for this post and support ! #LASPOA

  6. Rudy Perez says:

    In behalf of the 500 men and women of the Los Angeles School Dolice Department thank you very much for this post and support ! #LASPOA

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