LAUSD Fires Police, Hires Climate coaches
February 25, 2021
The Los Angeles Unified School District has voted to ax 133 members of its police force — and replace them with school “climate coaches” to help underserved students.
The district’s board voted Tuesday night to cut the Los Angeles School Police budget by $25 million, losing 70 sworn officers, 62 non-sworn officers and one member of support staff, the force said.
The money will help create a $36.5 million new Black Student Achievement Plan, with most of it used to hire “climate coaches” at secondary schools, the Los Angeles Times said.
The coaches “will provide students with an advocate on campus who is trained and focused on implementing positive school culture and climate,” a school report said.
They will use “effective de-escalation strategies” while “building positive relationships and elevating student voice, eliminating racial disproportionality in school discipline practices, and understanding and addressing implicit bias,” the report said.
The cuts amount to 28 percent of the police department’s staff, and defied “significant opposition” among parents and staff, the force said.
“Make no mistake, this will impact student and staff safety,” warned Rob Taylor, the president of L.A.’s School Police Management Association.