After Voting to Cut School Police, Nick Melvoin Demands Action on ‘Gun Lobby’

Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles supporters protest outside the Unified School District head
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Nick Melvoin, a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) board who is running for reelection, called for action against the “gun lobby” Tuesday after he voted to cut the L.A. School Police Department (LASPD) force in 2021.

19 students and two adults were murdered Tuesday in a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, when an armed 18-year-old entered the facility and began shooting. Dozens more were wounded. Melvoin attacked the “gun lobby”:

In 2020, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, with rioting taking place across the city, the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), the teachers’ union for LAUSD, demanded that the 400-member school police force be abolished entirely. Melvoin backed a proposal to phase the school police out over four years.

At first, the school board declined to abolish or cut the police, after several competing proposals failed to win a majority of votes, and after parents and school employees spoke about the importance of the police force in protecting the schools.

But eventually, the board agreed to cut the school police force by one-third and redistribute the funding toward programs that are intended to improve black student achievement.

Los Angeles school police (David McNew / Getty)

Kwame Ao-uqdah (L), 16, and Coolidge Frye, 15, talk with police officers after school officials tell them that they cannot go to school because they are wearing white shirts in the aftermath of two apparent racially motivated student brawls at Thomas Jefferson High School April 21, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. The attire was rejected because some gang members like to wear white shirts. A number of students suffered injuries this week while fleeing from a lunch period brawl involving about 200 Latino and African-American students, the second racially charged incident in less than a week. Stepped-up school police and Los Angeles police presence, strict regulation of clothing styles that could be associated with gangs, and a tightened school bell schedule that leaves little time to linger between classes are in effect to curb the violence. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

In July 2020, Melvoin attempted to explain his support for eliminating the school police force by describing it as an effort to deal with “systemic racism.” He even specifically dismissed concerns about the risk of school shootings if police were gone:

And as I have spent the last few weeks listening, learning, (and unlearning) from students and community members, I have also looked to the data underlying those experiences, and it has become clear to me that our significant reliance on policing in schools doesn’t seem to actually be making us safer. I hear concerns about school shootings from supporters of our school police. I absolutely share them, and have introduced multiple resolutions to review emergency safety plans and address gun violence. But ninety-five percent of school shooters are current or former students, and eighty-five percent of school shootings take place with an armed guard on campus. No armed guards or police have ever stopped a school shooting in progress. In fact, evidence suggests that an increased presence of police in schools makes some students less safe.

On Tuesday, a Border Patrol officer who was working nearby rushed into the school and shot and killed the perpetrator.

Melvoin was not alone among politicians and celebrities who called for gun control after calling for school police to be abolished. Another was Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who backed calls to abolish school police in 2020:

A poll released by Rasmussen Reports on Wednesday — just hours before the Texas shooting — suggested that 50% of voters do not believe that gun control would stop mass shooting, versus 40% who believe it would, and 10% who are undecided.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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