Los Angeles School Board defunded its police. Guess what's happening now

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File

In February of this year, the school board for the Los Angeles Unified School District, one of the largest in the nation, slashed $25 million from the school police budget and eliminated the jobs of more than one-third of the school police officers. Officers are no longer stationed on school campuses. It was all openly and proudly done as part of the “defund the police” movement and the board elected to apply the money they saved to hiring “counselors and social workers” who would be deployed to “interrupt violence.” How do you suppose that’s been working out since the kids have returned to the classrooms?

CBS Los Angeles launched an investigation into that question this month, interviewing police officers, parents, students and school officials at many of the more than 1,000 schools in the LAUSD. What they found was a situation that is far from what the police reform advocates predicted, though it likely won’t come as much of a surprise to our regular readers. Incidents of crime and violence on public school campuses have been steadily rising. Some parents are sheltering their children who have been injured in incidents of campus violence, with some refusing to send their children back. The school administrative officials at some of these schools are definitely experiencing buyer’s remorse and longing for the return of the cops.

In the three months since Los Angeles Unified School District students have been back on campus, a CBS2 News investigation found concerns about increased crime since the school board defunded the police department.

One-third of the school police budget was cut as part of the “defund the police” movement. Officers aren’t stationed at schools, and some parents are worried about safety.

The videos obtained by CBS2 Investigates reveal what some parents are troubled about.

The predictable madness is showing up across the district. One parent named Brittany Jackson described how her 15-year-old daughter was knocked to the ground and beaten until she suffered a broken nose and a concussion. Her mother no longer feels safe sending her to school.

Most schools where the older students attend have rival gangs of students that regularly engage in violence. CBS obtained security video showing brutal fights breaking out inside and outside of the classrooms, with more than a few of the participants requiring medical attention.

Other videos show a teacher being assaulted by a gang of students in the hallway at one school. At Muir Middle School, a student was sexually assaulted inside of the school. Just between August and October of this year, there have been 108 assaults reported on LAUSD campuses, with 16 students having to be transported to the hospital as a result.

CBS interviewed one principal who would only agree to speak to a reporter if his face and voice were obscured to hide his identity out of fear of retribution from liberal school board members or even students. When asked if police on campus are missed, he said, “Tremendously.” He went on to say that he is very concerned for his own personal safety and is currently wondering whether or not it’s worth it to continue in the job.

All of this had been predicted by people who opposed the entire “defund the police” movement. The idea that you can replace the cops with “violence disruptors” carrying clipboards was an insane proposition right from the beginning, particularly in a city with as much gang violence as is seen in Los Angeles. And now it’s the students, the parents, and even the teachers and administrators who are paying the price.

This brief video report from CBS Los Angeles is worth a look and shows how some of the parents and administrators are reacting. Things are simply a mess and this is a crisis of the LAUSD’s own creation.

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