Black Girls Need Police-Free SchoolsJanuary 1, 1970 2022-03-17 11:02
Black Girls Need Police-Free Schools
Black Girls Need Police-Free Schools
We are at a precipice. Advocates and school leaders in nearly 100 districts all over the country have called for the removal of police in schools as a means to disrupt the ever-expanding. This has largely been by students, educators and community advocates.
Recently, Every single student shared their frustration, anxiety and fear of police.signed on to comment on the mayor’s proposed budget increase for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Only a fraction were able to testify via Zoom. An called on the D.C. Council to defund MPD and remove police from D.C. schools. Several DCPS students, mostly Black girls, joined the call.
As education advocates, we’ve seen this fear up close. Black girls are regularlyby police officers in school. And despite , the ongoing movement against policing, and a growing economic crisis, some leaders are to increase police budgets and contracts worth millions of dollars with schools. These are not small contracts, in D.C. the contract is annually, in Los Angeles the contract totals to .
Why do we need police-free schools?
First and foremost, police do not make schools safer. The officers in schools are drawn from the same police departments thatBlack and Brown communities, citizens and cost cities hundreds of millions in . As a result of these decisions, the history and culture of violence within police departments intimidate Black children and school communities daily.
The police play an outsized role in our schools. We’re seeing more andevidence of police officers involved in non-violent situations, such as responding to homelessness or mental illness, and escalating them to the detriment of Black residents. School police do the same. They’re called into classrooms to deal with , “bad attitudes” and minor disciplinary issues that should be dealt with by teachers or social workers.
In the last two years, Black girls across D.C. have risen up against, explicitly demanding the end of police involvement in dress code enforcement. Many named instances of police stopping students from entering the building for wearing the wrong color shoes or pants, or demanding students remove items of clothing like headwraps and sweaters if they suspected a violation. Not only does this hurt students, but it also furthers a culture of harassment, racism and sexism.
Policing in schools also doesn’t affect The same stereotypes that result in police labeling Black people as threatening and dangerous affect our children in school.. According to from the Department of Education, Black girls make up 8% of girls enrolled in public schools, but 41% of girls arrested at school. In D.C., Black girls are more than than their White peers—the highest suspension rate in the country. And it’s not because Black students are misbehaving more often. They’re punished for the same or, often, non-existent offenses.
Students need support—just not the kind police can offer
According to the ACLU, 14 million students are in schools with police, but.
We have chosen to invest in policing over mental health professionals, social support systems and adults whose mission is to keep schools peaceful and students safe. And as a result of making the wrong investments, Black students are they can reach out to a teacher or another trusted adult in the building for mental health support.
This policy decision is shaped bythat has left many that lack adequate healthcare, housing and economic opportunities. With a looming economic crisis, it is even more important to make critical community investments, especially in school buildings.
We Need a Different Approach to School Safety
Some have argued that police are needed in school to keep students safe from campus shooters. But there issuggesting that school-based police officers stop school shootings. Research also shows , while most school police officers are placed in schools that serve . D.C. students and grassroots organizations have pointed to the need for a , one that prioritizes community violence interrupters, mental health supports, social and emotional learning and transformative justice training for teachers, all of which are to create safer, healthier schools.
The good news is much of the country has come to a consensus: law enforcement does not belong in schools. School boards in Minneapolis, Oakland, Seattle and San Francisco voted to ties with school police programs. Some city leaders, like the D.C. Council, are massive policing contracts from police departments to education agencies, which is a good step but ignores the fact that two-thirds of D.C. voters all together. Student leaders, especially those involved in the and are spending their summer fighting for police-free schools and investments in their schools and communities. They want resources that will create safer, healthier schools. To learn free from police, policing and harassment. It’s past time we listen to them. We need police-free schools. Now.