June 21, 2020Press Release
In response to the three motions being considered at the upcoming LAUSD Board of Education meeting, the following statement is from UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl:
“Our students need more social workers, counselors, trusted campus aides, and Community Schools, not police. We must ask ourselves a fundamental question. Why have we over the last decades increased police presence in schools in communities of color, especially significantly-Black schools, while we have allowed academic and social-emotional supports to be cut? The answer is institutional racism and implicit acceptance of a culture that criminalizes Black students. We must break that cycle. The LAUSD School Board must listen to the current unprecedented, broad youth movement, led by Black Lives Matter-LA and Students Deserve – a movement powerful in the streets and backed by research, with study after study showing that the presence of police in schools does not make schools safer, and has a detrimental impact on students, especially Black students. While we believe it needs to spell out a faster timeline and deeper divestment, Monica Garcia’s motion to remove 90% of school police by 2024 most closely aligns with what the UTLA Board of Directors overwhelmingly supported -- 100% elimination of the budget for school police. Garcia’s motion should be the motion of the day on Tuesday -- and all other motions regarding public safety and police reform should be withdrawn. We want to have more conversations about how the money divested from policing would be transparently re-allocated – but, it must unambiguously go towards supporting Black students. We are encouraged by Monica Garcia’s motion, and we urge all LAUSD school board members to vote for it.”
On June 3, the UTLA Board of Directors voted 35-2 in support of eliminating the budget for school police. UTLA has been going through a productive member conversation process leading up to our House of Representatives meeting on Thursday, June 25, where a vote will be necessary to make the UTLA Board of Directors motion the formal policy of the union.
By calling for the elimination of school police funding, the UTLA Board is joining a push in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Denver, Portland, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Charlottesville, and many other school districts and cities, many of which have recently eliminated school police, and others of which are voting in the coming days to do so.
Read the June 10 Board of Directors letter here.
UTLA will notify members and the public of the results of Thursday’s House of Representatives vote.