The union representing teachers and support staff in Los Angeles is calling for the district’s 400-member school police force to be eliminated as part of the effort to “dismantle white supremacy.”
At a Monday event alongside Black Lives Matter leaders, according to the LA Times, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) union demanded that the police force in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) be eliminated:
Leaders of United Teachers Los Angeles said Monday they support a movement to eliminate the Los Angeles School Police Department, a force of about 400 that serves the L.A. Unified School District and accounts for about $70 million of the district’s $7.9 billion budget.
“We have to dismantle white supremacy. We must … defund the police and bring in the mental health services that our students need,” said Cecily Myart-Cruz, the incoming president of UTLA, which represents about 30,000 teachers, nurses, counselors and other staff in the school district.
The union leadership endorsement and public announcement during a labor news conference with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles bring an influential voice to what is certain to be an intense debate over school safety.
The police union, in turn, heartily denounced the demand, noting that school police officers are often tasked with breaking up fights, acting as peacekeepers in gang-ridden school districts, and deterring school shootings.
Back in February 2018, the LA Times reported that school police are an integral part of the district’s school shooting prevention. Many parents in the district supported the presence of armed police officers on school grounds at the time.
In an op-ed for Breitbart following the LA Times report, Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in the Parkland high school shooting in Florida in 2018, warned that Black Lives Matter encouraging school districts to cut ties with police forces will ultimately put students at risk.
“If you live in a Democrat-run city, get your kids out now,” Pollack wrote. “Because I can tell from personal experience, if your kid gets murdered in school and you have a problem with it, they’ll just call you racist and double down.”
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