Zoe Rawson (’07) on LA’s New Approach to Discipline in School

January 15, 2014 | CUNY School of Law

Alumna Zoe Rawson (’07) is quoted in a recent NPR story about new policies that have been enacted in Los Angeles schools to “take a less punitive approach” to common misbehavior in elementary and middle school. According to the article, “students under the age of 13 will no longer be subject to school police citations and court appearances for minor offenses such as fighting, loitering, underage drinking, and defacing desks and walls.”

“Using age as the cut-off creates a strange dynamic for kids who are in the same class,” Zoe Rawson, an attorney with Community Rights Campaign said in a phone call.

Rawson, who has worked closely with Zipperman and LA Unified administrators to curb the criminalization of Los Angeles students, says the new policy can be confusing to kids and inadvertently sets up a double standard.

“Under this directive, you now have a potential situation where some middle school students could get a ticket for something that other middle school students wouldn’t get a ticket for.”

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