What is a Safe School Zone?

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A Safe School Zone is an area around a school site that prohibits certain activities and increases penalties if certain crimes are committed in the zone.  It is defined in the California Penal Code Section 626.  The first time we looked at this issue, in 2009, the safe school zone was 1,000 feet, but in 2012 the legislature increased the zone to 1,500 feet from the school.

c) As used in this code, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Pupil currently attending school” means a pupil enrolled in a public school who has been in attendance or has had an excused absence, for purposes of attendance accounting, for a majority of the days for which the pupil has been enrolled in that school during the school year.
(2) “Safe school zone” means an area that encompasses any of the following places during regular school hours or within 60 minutes before or after the schoolday or 60 minutes before or after a school-sponsored activity at the schoolsite:
(A) Within 100 feet of a bus stop, whether or not a public transit bus stop, that has been publicly designated by the school district as a schoolbus stop. This definition applies only if the school district has chosen to mark the bus stop as a schoolbus stop.
(B) Within 1,000 feet of a school, as designated by the school district

 

2012 Changes

   (2) "Safe school zone" means an area that encompasses any of the
following places during regular school hours or within 60 minutes
before or after the schoolday or 60 minutes before or after a
school-sponsored activity at the schoolsite:
   (A) Within 100 feet of a bus stop, whether or not a public transit
bus stop, that has been publicly designated by the school district
as a schoolbus stop. This definition applies only if the school
district has chosen to mark the bus stop as a schoolbus stop.
   (B) Within 1,500 feet of a school, as designated by the school
district.

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