Los Angeles’ school police department is shelving some of its get-tough policies and has issued new rules that are aimed at reducing the number of truancy tickets written to students, focusing efforts instead on helping students get to and remain in school.
The new policy is part of a campaign to reform traditional school discipline. The department’s previous strategy included truancy sweeps, $250 tickets, and mandatory court appearances that could result in jail time for parents. Such measures, advocates said, can diminish time in school and ultimately increase the dropout rate.
Under the new rules, there will be no law-enforcement truancy sweeps within the first 90 minutes of school. The rules also emphasize that “police must ask students if they have a legitimate excuse” before writing a ticket.
A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as School Police in L.A. to Ease Truancy Policy