The Community Rights Campaign recently won a major victory in their "Truancy Ticket Campaign." Since it was launched in 2008, the campaign has been seeking to put an end to LAPD ticketing of students for truancy and tardiness. As reported in an April 14 LA Times article, "City and school police issued more than 47,000 tickets from 2004 to 2009, 88% of them to African Americans and Latinos, according to data compiled by activists through public records requests. And not one of the more than 13,118 curfew tickets issued by the school police went to a white student, advocates said."
Thanks to the Community Rights Campaign, and their allies at Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Public Counsel, and the ACLU of Southern California, the LAPD has announced that it will revise its policy of ticketing students and put an end to "truancy sweeps" on school grounds.
As reported in Colorlines, "the community and advocacy groups argued that far from encouraging kids to get to school on time or at all, truancy tickets actually do the exact opposite by forcing students to miss class in order to resolve them. The Strategy Center, which has been organizing to fight the punitive truancy tickets for several years, argued that aggressive truancy ticket policies actually fast-tracked kids into a school-to-prison pipeline. The more interaction kids have with the police, they said, the more likely kids are to drop out eventually."
The Community Rights Campaign is a project of the Los Angeles-based Labor/Community Strategy Center that has been working to organize L.A. high school students and L.A.’s 500,000 low-income bus riders. They build campaigns to push back the growing police/prison state and push forward an expanded social welfare state. They also organize high school students in Take Action after-school clubs to stop the school-to-prison pipeline in favor of building a positive, empowered learning environment.
– Joao Da Silva, Dignity in Schools Campaign