School police officers haven’t stopped a single shooting, but they have arrested scores of kids of color
February 27, 2018
At schools across the country, black kids are being arrested, abused, thrashed, violated, humiliated, and traumatized at the hands or behest of teachers, administrators, school resources officers, and local police more frequently and for more minor disciplinary offenses than their white counterparts. According to one study, the presence of a SRO can increase these types of disciplinary cases by 100 percent. Escalating subjective classroom and student issues to an issue for law enforcement, further solidifying the school-to-prison pipeline.
“Black students were 16 percent of the total student enrollment in the 2011-12 school year but 27 percent of students referred to law enforcement and 31 percent of students involved in a school-related arrest, according to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights data.
A 2015 article in The Atlantic reads.
“Students with disabilities represented about 12 percent of the total student population but accounted for a quarter of those arrested and referred to law enforcement, 75 percent of those who were physically restrained at school and 58 percent of those placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement.”
While it’s immensely important to find a solution to school shootings, and gun violence in general, all of the research suggests that arming teachers and administrators or turning public schools into jails would make schools increasingly more dangerous for students of color, students with disabilities and students struggling with mental illness—and especially students who fall into more than one of those categories.