LAUSD to Decriminalize Student Fights, Petty Thefts and Minor Offenses

The Los Angeles Unified School District on Tuesday is set to announce a major change in the way students are disciplined for some offenses.

School police will no longer issue citations for most campus fights, petty theft and other minor offenses, but instead refer students to counseling and other services.

Students involved in most fights – which make up about 20% of all student arrests – will be referred to city YouthSource Centers for counseling and other services. Students involved in minor theft or possession of alcohol, tobacco or small amounts of marijuana also will be referred to school or community officials rather than the criminal justice system.

The reforms build on earlier agreements a few years ago to reduce police citations and fines for students who were tardy or absent. Citations have plunged from 10,719 in 2010-11 to 3,000 last year. But black students are still disproportionately arrested, making up 31% of 1,100 arrests made by Los Angeles school police in 2013, even though they make up less than 10% of the student population.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.