Last week, the LA Unified School Board voted to cut a third of the school police force and instead divert funds to hire counselors, restorative justice advisors and “climate coaches.”
The overhaul came after students and activists campaigned for change in how policing is exercised in schools, particularly against Black and Latino children. Calls to defund the police intensified over the summer in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, and board members acknowledged that community pressure helped prompt last week’s vote. Under the terms of the overhaul, police will no longer patrol campuses and will only show up when called for an emergency. Instead, climate coaches will be hired in schools to promote a positive campus culture and address biases. An achievement plan for Black students, including additional staff, will also be included on secondary school campuses. But how the climate coaches will operate on campus— where they will be stationed, how they will move through schools, what training they will have to de-escalate— are still somewhat unclear.
Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about climate coaches on school campuses. Questions? Leave them below or give us a call at 866-893-5722.
For more on this from LAist, click here.
Caroline Champlin, KPCC reporter who has been following this story; she tweets @champlin_c
Isaac Bryan, member of the Los Angeles Unified School District task force on school policing. He is also director of public policy for the UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies, and founding executive director of the UCLA Black Policy Project, a policy think tank at UCLA to intentionally study policy interventions to improve the material conditions of Black Life in California and beyond; he tweets @ib2real