Students in Los Angeles can now get $250 truancy tickets - not only when they are caught being truant (something we also all probably did at least a few times!) but when they are simply late.
These truancy tickets are part of a broader shift in educational policy. Public schools are now using tickets as a form of discipline and employing police-not teachers, not counselors-as the first responders. It is part of a "zero tolerance" philosophy that emphasizes punitive policies, law enforcement, and courts as the "necessary" solutions, creating conditions of "pre-prisons" rather than educational environments for our Black and Brown youth who make up the majority of our public schools.
And so our young people now face ticketing as a daily reality. They get tickets for fighting. Tickets for going off campus at lunch without permission. Tickets for skateboarding on school campus without a helmet. And, truancy tickets for being tardy.
It's like Sesame Street teaching you how to watch television, but worse. LAUSD is teaching students how to go to jail.