California Law Introduced to Reduce Police Calls on K-12 Campuses


By Ebenezer Mamo

SACRAMENTO, CA – A measure was introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) this week designed to reduce the police calls on students with alleged behavioral issues in class in K-12 schools.

According to Assemblymember Kalra’s statement, current law states educators in the state of California are forced to contact the police for a broad range of issues relating to the students behavioral issues no matter how small.

If educators don’t comply with this California state law then educators can be subject to a fine up to $1,000, said Kalra.

Kalra argues the current standard causes “excessive” use of calling police officers simply for behavioral issues, which he claims is unnecessary and does more harm than good.

Kalra said calling police officers for any and every behavioral issue a student has actually leads to the school to prison path for students instead of the intended pathway “we want for students,” noting a school should cultivate a very supportive and safe learning environment for its students.

Kalra explains, “Studies have consistently found that any student interaction with law enforcement decreases their likelihood of completing high school while increasing the chance of having contact with the criminal legal system. Further, studies demonstrate the presence of school police has no impact on student crime rates and instead correlates with increased student misconduct.”

Klary adds, “Rather than exacerbating academic disparities, we can promote alternative approaches to addressing student misbehavior and foster a safer learning environment.”

The lawmaker’s AB 2441 is supported by Allegra Cira Fischer, senior policy attorney at Disability Rights California.

Fischer said, “the students that are affected negatively the most by this law are the children who are disabled. Even though disabled children make up only about 11 percent of K-12 students they consist of about 26 percent of student arrests. Which hurts them when it comes to these arrests leading to the school to prison pipeline. For Black and Latinx boys who are disabled the numbers are even higher.

“When AB 2441 becomes law, school staff who know their students best will be able to determine the appropriate intervention based on the individual needs of students with disabilities.”

Carl Pinkston, Operational Director at Black Parallel School Board, another strong supporter of the AB 2441 bill stated, “AB 2441 is the critical first step in the process of decriminalizing schools and shifting away from policies that disproportionately and negatively impact Black students.”

Pinkston added, “We are excited to co-sponsor AB 2441 and support 21st Century Multicultural Learning Communities—where students, teachers, and their communities engage collaboratively in a supportive learning environment that is grounded in the value of their contribution to themselves and society.”

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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