On February 16th, 2021, Los Angeles students and organizers, led by a coalition of organizations including Students Deserve and Labor Community Strategy Center, won a major budget cut of $25 million from the L.A. Unified School Police Department. These funds and an additional $11 million are to be directed towards Black student achievement. This victory is in a long continuum of organizing to end the criminalization and over-policing of Black students and students of color in L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD). In 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department agreed to stop ticketing students for tardiness and restrict the practice of truancy sweeps, after mounting community pressure. Three years later, students force the department to stop citing students for fighting, petty theft and other minor offenses, and instead refers them to counseling and other related services. In April of 2016, the Strategy Center led and won their campaign to end the 1033 Program in the LAUSD. Through student organizing, the LAUSD was forced to issue an apology and return their military tanks, grenade launchers, and M-16s. The campaign began after the Ferguson Uprisings, when students learned that the same military grade weapons used to suppress protests in Ferguson were owned by the Los Angeles School Police Department. Today, Black and Brown students, parents, educators and community organizations continue to work towards completely eliminating the school district police department.
Labor Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, CA