Police Officers in Schools


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How youth feel about police in their schools has an interesting outlook in Connecticut. Based on the article Report: School Officers Don’t Make Students, the risk of arrest is five times higher for Black and Latino students in schools with police officers. This shows another way police in schools are used to build on the school-to-prison pipeline system.

A research and policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, Samailla Adelaiye, states having school police officers “defeats that purpose” of building an environment for children to raise their academic performance and build emotionally sound young people. This can be further seen when looking into school financial resources and programs that use the school’s expenses. It takes away the funds to create a program for offenders who commit similar crimes. Some counselors may be hired to replace the police officers that may be better for developing the child rather than the actions that police take when a child is breaking a rule in school. To switch the policy to aim funds to go towards counselors, social workers, and psychology will better aid the children. Additionally, acts of recidivism are more likely to occur when the children are not being properly rehabilitated if a criminal act occurs. The goal of the juvenile justice system should be aimed to support children who have bad practices that hurt the community or themselves. Many of these situations are better handled by having children rehabilitated with positive practices rather than arresting them and treating them like adult offenders.

Having police officers in schools may improperly intimidate children at times and can be unfair. If a police officer is in school, children should be taught their rights. It is unfair to have an officer in a school building when students do not know what rights they have when they are confronted by the officer. As Adelaiye stated in the article, “We recommend that policymakers should pass laws to ensure that parents are present any time a student is questioned about potentially criminal activity, even if it’s not a criminal activity involving that student,” parents should be the first alerted in these moments. Too much history shows where Black and Latino children have been mistreated during routine police practices. If there is a system in place to allow the police officers to question children for an alleged crime, there should also be a system when allowing the child to exercise their constitutional rights.

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