YES TO COUNSELORS, NO TO COPS

Controversy over cops in schools flares anew…

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Propublica has a good article about the controversy about police in schools:

In post-Newtown America, those with power say they must act to prevent another massacre of innocents.

The Obama administration wants stiffer gun control, and $150 million to help schools hire up to 1,000 more on-campus police or counselors, or purchase security technology. State legislators are considering shifting millions of dollars around to help schools hire more police. Some locals aren’t waiting: The 5,500-resident town of Jordan, Minn., has moved its entire eight-officer police force into schools.

“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said after a young man shot his way into his former grammar school on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., and killed 20 first-graders and six educators.

With the new year, the NRA has been flexing its political muscle, lobbying states not just to hire more school police — under the group’s National School Shield project — but also to pass laws allowing teachers or other staff to bring licensed guns to school to defend their students and themselves.

Beyond the headlines, though, the push for more cops or other armed security personnel in schools is running headlong into another movement that’s been quietly growing in states as diverse as Mississippi, New York, Utah, Texas and California.

It’s a push to get police out of schools, or at least to end their involvement in routine discipline matters that principals and parents used to address without involvement from law enforcement officers.

Civil-rights groups and juvenile court judges — and even some officials within the Obama administration — argue that because the ranks of police began growing in schools in the late 1990s, the criminal justice system’s involvement in student discipline has gotten entirely out of hand in some communities. That has put students, especially ethnic minorities, on a path to failure, they say — the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.

Read more here.

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