Friday, April 19, 2013

NYT: More cops in schools wrong approach to school safety

Thank you, New York Times Editorial Board, for affirming what many of us have been arguing for years. School violence is not mainly a policing problem, and adding more cops in schools doesn't make those schools any safer. Instead, it tends to criminalize students, especially students of color, and raises the expectation of violence, contributing to a culture that is antithetical to teaching and learning.

According to today's NYT editorial, "Criminalizing Children":
The National Rifle Association and President Obama responded to the Newtown, Conn., shootings by recommending that more police officers be placed in the nation’s schools. But a growing body of research suggests that, contrary to popular wisdom, a larger police presence in schools generally does little to improve safety. It can also create a repressive environment in which children are arrested or issued summonses for minor misdeeds — like cutting class or talking back — that once would have been dealt with by the principal. 
Children as young as 12 have been treated as criminals for shoving matches and even adolescent misconduct like cursing in school. This is worrisome because young people who spend time in adult jails are more likely to have problems with law enforcement later on. Moreover, federal data suggest a pattern of discrimination in the arrests, with black and Hispanic children more likely to be affected than their white peers. 

1 comment:

  1. "Children as young as 12..." As young as 12? Heck, we've had five and six-year-olds in handcuffs and flexties being dealt with by the police. Poor and minority kids, especially those with disabilities, are lucky if they make it to age 12 without a direct run-in with law enforcement in their school.



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