YES TO COUNSELORS, NO TO COPS

More cops in schools isn’t the solution…

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The following is from an editorial in the Baltimore Sun by Liz Ryan:

In response to the Newtown tragedy in December, the Obama administration proposed a package of reforms, including a proposal to provide $150 million for local jurisdictions to hire new school resource officers (SROs) or counselors and $4 billion for the Community Oriented Police (COPS) program, which can also be used to hire law enforcement in schools. Members of Congress will be considering these proposals in the appropriations process and have introduced a number of others that would authorize more law enforcement officers in schools.

Many concerns have been raised about these proposals. It is crucial that we get loud immediately — and here’s why.
First, the current system of law enforcement in schools doesn’t work and needs an overhaul. Research since the federal crime bill of 1994 was put into place shows a substantial increase in the presence of law enforcement in schools, due in large part to greater federal funding and a rise in the prevalence of zero-tolerance policies in schools. These factors have led to substantial increases in suspensions, expulsions, arrests and referrals to the juvenile and criminal justice systems. For kids in many states, they can literally go from the school playground to the adult criminal justice system.

Read more here.

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