stringbook




........................................................................Home | Books | Bio | c.v. ............................. ... ...

The LAUSD Proto-Gulag

It's not just the City of LA that has turned on its own citizens. While Jill Stewart and the LA Times were busy last year cuddling up to the corporations and wantonly bashing teachers on behalf of Eli Broad's and Bill Gates's plans for privatizing public education, the LAUSD's administration was busy hiking truancy fines to $250 and creating a mini-gulag for our city's poorest adolescents.

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.