Students, parents, educators, and community groups organizing for community-based safety programs scored a big win on April 10 as the district announced closing 50 vacant school police positions and instead investing $3.7 million in Safe Passage and restorative justice programs. Additionally, the district said it will update LAUSD policy to ensure school police cannot pepper spray students on or off campus.

In 2020, the partnership of students, educators, families, and community groups forming the Police-Free LAUSD coalition successfully pushed the district to remove all permanently stationed cops from school campuses. Through this partnership, we have kept the pressure on the district to eliminate school police entirely and instead implement meaningful, proven supports for student safety and well-being.

“As students and as graduates of LAUSD, we have been coming up to the school board demanding community-based safety initiatives and that police be removed from our campus and we have finally felt heard as a community,” Students Deserve Organizer Amir Casimir told Carvalho and the school board. “We are going to continue to fight and make sure that we hold you all accountable.”

This week’s victory is a big step toward making sure Black and brown students, and all students, feel safe and seen on campus — not targeted or criminalized by police.