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Beutner Urges Caution In Calls To Abolish School Police

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With the L.A. Unified School District board scheduled on Tuesday to consider three resolutions that would reexamine the L.A. School Police, LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner on Monday urged caution in moving forward with growing calls to dismantle the force.

While Beutner has said that school police funding will be examined as the district remakes its budget, he said in his weekly video address that "before one rushes to judgment on this issue, it's important to look carefully at the lived experience in schools in the communities we serve."

"Those looking for a simple answer will be disappointed because it does not exist," he said.

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Beutner's remarks indicated that the superintendent continues to support the presence of police on campuses. He noted that "school staff of all types have been victims of assault at schools," and that while "Black students are disproportionately represented in arrests ... they are also disproportionately the victims of crimes in schools."

He added:

"Those who want to abolish school police must provide a reasoned answer how the threats of mass violence and incidences of serious crime will be handled at schools. And they need to explain to those who are in favor of school police why campuses will be safer in their absence. And those who think it’s just fine the way things are must provide a reasoned answer to students who feel the stigma of an armed presence on campus."

The district also announced on Monday that a nine-member task force including educators, former public defenders and prosecutors, and public policy experts has been convened to assess "the training, practices, policies and budget of the Los Angeles School Police." The panel will meet twice a week and is expected to deliver preliminary recommendations by August and a full report by the end of the year.

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