LOS ANGELES – Mayor Karen Bass and Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho today announced a series of actions taken to improve school safety. The leaders will host convenings of stakeholders and community members focusing on safety in and around schools to ensure that students in Los Angeles feel and are safe.
“We must do more in order for the students of Los Angeles and their families to feel and stay safe,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I am working with Superintendent Carvalho to ensure that we confront and address the vehicular tragedies, substance abuse and other incidents that we have seen near and in our schools. We are taking significant action to protect our students from unacceptable harm, and we will continue to do more to promote student safety.”
“I am thankful for the partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Karen Bass to address student safety and safe passages through a variety of traffic calming measures,” said Superintendent Alberto Carvalho. “Last year, our students and families faced unsafe pedestrian passages to and from our campuses – some experiencing injuries and others loss of life. Walking to school should not become a traumatic experience for our students. Los Angeles Unified will continue to work to ensure that our students can make it to school safely, so they are ready to learn. As we start the 2023-24 school year, we look forward to the continued collaboration with the Mayor and the City of Los Angeles to prioritize safe passages.”
The City of Los Angeles has taken the following actions over the summer to address student safety:
ADDRESSING SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN SCHOOLS:
LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership Bureau (CSPB) recently launched a pilot program tailored for students, parents, and school staff, with a focus on the harms and risks associated with drugs, specifically fentanyl. A component of the program includes educating staff on the functionality and proper usage of Narcan.
The program also established a Fentanyl Training Cadre, which is a bilingual team that educates community partners, with a target audience that includes students, parents, and school faculty.
LAPD’s CSPB is working with LAUSD to increase the effectiveness of fentanyl awareness/Narcan trainings and the impact of the Fentanyl Training Cadre.
MAKING STREETS AROUND SCHOOLS SAFER:
The City has been expediting the hiring of crossing guards, reaching the highest number of crossing guards in at least a decade to ensure that students and families can cross streets safely:
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has worked diligently to increase the hiring rate of crossing guards, filling a total of 77 guard positions during Fiscal Year (FY) 22-23.
The City’s FY23-24 budget, signed by Mayor Bass on May 26, is projected to create up to 93 additional crossing guard positions.
LADOT continues to expedite crossing guard hiring prior to the beginning of the school year, including conditionally hiring 30 new crossing guards at a job fair in Watts on June 29.
The City is improving traffic safety with a record number of investments in their “Safe Route to Schools” program. These investments include the creation of “School Slow Zones”, speed humps and quick-build projects that slow down traffic within school zones:
LADOT will continue to implement street safety projects throughout the school year. By June 30, 2024, LADOT will complete “quick-build” street improvements at a total of 41 schools, speed humps at a total of 70 schools, and School Slow Zones at a total of 250 schools.
On August 4, 2023, the City Council directed LADOT to provide recommendations for the prioritization of additional traffic safety projects at schools in future fiscal years.
LADOT and LAUSD will enter into an memorandum of understanding to increase collaboration to improve student safety.
PREVENTING VIOLENCE NEAR SCHOOLS:
Over the summer, the City took action to deploy resources through the Summer Night Lights program to some school-adjacent recreation facilities to increase youth and family programming in our public spaces in order to help reduce violence. The program is a key component of the Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) Comprehensive Strategy.