Home > Uncategorized > In a Completely Unsurprising Finding Students Do NOT Want Police In Schools… They’d Rather Have Have “Programs, Resources, and Support”

In a Completely Unsurprising Finding Students Do NOT Want Police In Schools… They’d Rather Have Have “Programs, Resources, and Support”

Common Dreams writer Brett Wilkins posted an article describing the findings of a survey conducted by the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) of students in Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. Here’s what their survey found:

Of the respondents with police at their schools, 41% said they felt unsafe or very unsafe when they see officers, with only 16% saying that campus cops make them feel safe. On the other hand, respondents said that friends (84%) and teachers (63%) made them feel safe.

Worse, than that was this finding:

One in four of the surveyed students have been arrested, while nearly one in five has had police respond when they miss school, 18% have been issued juvenile reports, and 16% have received court citations.

That data point was particularly troubling because, as the report accompanying the survey noted,

Students who were first arrested during the 9th or 10th grade were six to eight times more likely to drop out of school than students who were not arrested. Rather than reduce school violence, scholars have found that the presence of police merely criminalizes typical adolescent behavior, such as disorderly conduct, even among similarly situated schools.

As noted frequently in this blog, the decision to direct resources to police protection is especially damaging in those schools where there is a shortage of counselors, no social workers on staff, and no programs designed to help students who are experiencing mental health or addiction problems. The money spent on police could be spent on social services in the school or the community. The decision to spend it on police, whose response to problems is legal action that, in turn, leads too often to entry into the school-to-prison pipeline is one of the worst made by politicians and school boards over the past two decades.

The good news is it CAN be undone and IS being undone as more and more voters see the fruitlessness of placing police in schools.

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