Los Angeles schools make discipline less harsh for low-level offenses to keep kids out of jail

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LOS ANGELES — Students at the nation's second largest school district will be shielded from prosecution and sent to administrators for low-level offenses as part of a sweeping reform to the way school police respond to bad behavior.

Zoe Rawson of the Community Rights Campaign says students caught fighting or possessing alcohol or marijuana will receive interventions by a guidance counselor or school administrator, a shift that will prevent students, especially minorities, from becoming mired in the criminal justice system.

District officials will announce the reforms Tuesday.

With more than 640,000 students at nearly 1,100 schools, Los Angeles is among the largest school districts whose police have adopted a policy of less punitive discipline.

The changes are part of a trend toward eliminating "zero tolerance" policies and align with reforms issued in January by the Obama administration.

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