Police Have No Place in Schools

Current Events & News, School Funding | 06/09/2020

Jonah Edelman
Chief Executive Officer

Police have no place in K-12 schools.

School policing is inextricably linked to our country’s longstanding pattern of oppressing and criminalizing African Americans.

Evidence is overwhelming that the presence of police or School Resource Officers (SROs) results in Black students being disproportionately arrested, which can have devastating consequences on educational and life outcomes.

Police and SROs also consistently treat Black students more harshly than white students even though there’s no evidence to support that Black students exhibit higher rates of misbehavior.

Police presence at schools often results in conflicts escalating rather than being diffused. For Black students, the presence of police on campus can create anxiety and fuel a negative self-concept that impedes learning and healthy development.

At the same time, there is simply no rigorous, causal evidence that police or School Resource Officers make schools safer.

Policing in schools needs to end. Instead of spending millions and in some cases tens of millions of dollars per year on police, school districts should redirect those funds to enhanced guidance and mental health staff, training staff and students to avoid and de-escalate conflicts, and further developing staff cultural competency skills.

This is the essence of our position – stop funding policing, which hurts Black students and doesn’t make schools safer, and redirect those funds to staff and programs that lift up Black students and make schools safer and more just. 

Our Position on Police Free Schools is here. Stay tuned for an infographic and a webinar.

Minneapolis Public Schools and Portland Public Schools are discontinuing policing in schools. We call on every superintendent and school board member in school districts that still allocate scarce resources to school police to follow their lead. Take an important step on the journey of valuing Black lives equally by ending school policing and redirecting those funds toward helping Black students heal, grow, and thrive and making schools safer and just.

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