In Case You Missed It: Watch the Reimagining School Safety Virtual Town Hall now!
Last month, we were honored to share the perspectives Maryland students and their families who have been impacted by school police officers (known as School Resource officers or SROs). In addition to these firsthand accounts of overpolicing, we were joined by state lawmakers, Delegates Gabriel Acevero (District 39, Montgomery County) and Jheanelle Wilkins (District 20, Montgomery County), who shared with us their commitment changing Maryland’s practice of policing public schools.
Each year, the state of Maryland spends $10 million to fund school police; however, no national or Maryland study has found that police presence decreases school violence. Why not instead use our resources on practices proven to make students safer and healthier? Educators, researchers, and law enforcement have found that strategies that support students’ positive behavior and strengthen relationships among students, staff, and parents are effective for keeping schools safe.
Proven and promising strategies include:
Provision of wraparound services, including through community schools
Special education planning and implementation
Hiring of mental health specialists, counselors, and community resource coordinators
Ask your friends if they’ve heard of the movement to remove police from Maryland schools and start the conversation with your fellow constituents. Encourage them to reach out to their representatives to let them know that Maryland schools should be police-free.
Follow police-free schools initiatives on social media for more updates. You can find the Committee to Reform School Discipline on Facebook,Twitter, andInstagram, as well as the Public Justice Center on Facebook and Twitter