~~October 30, 2015~~
COPS IN CLASS
Is ‘zero tolerance‘ still the right approach?
By Ashley Fantz, CNN
It seems to happen all the time.
Police are called to a school to deal with students acting out.
Some snapshots from around the country this year: In October, in Chesterfield, South Carolina, police are called because of a fight. Nine students are arrested. In May, sheriff’s deputies use pepper spray to break up a fight at a Naples, Florida, high school. Three students are arrested and 21 students need medical care. In March, New York Police Department safety agents ask a student to remove safety pins holding his glasses together. When the student refuses, the officers reportedly tackle and arrest him.
What’s going on in America’s schools that necessitate seemingly so much police involvement?
Could crime in our schools really be so rampant?
During a week when the country repeatedly watched cell phone video of a student resource officer violently manhandling a South Carolina high school student, many are asking:
What exactly is a school cop’s job and does their presence benefit teachers, administrators and students?
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
AP Photo/Brennan Linsley
From the war on drugs to a crackdown on everything
Violent crime in schools has decreased over many years, said Annette Fuentes, who has studied the intersection of law enforcement and primary education for at least a decade and wrote “Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse.”
The path to putting law enforcement in schools was paved by President Ronald Reagan. As part of the 1980’s war against drugs campaign, his administration coined the term “zero tolerance.” That approach to school discipline was primarily intended to curb the increasing menace of gangs and narcotics threatening young people, she said.
The belief that zero tolerance could be applied to other infractions was bolstered when Bill Clinton was president and the Safe Schools Act became law.
But what began as an effort to help schools in urban areas morphed into approach that was often overly harsh, Fuentes said.
“The kids who were criminalized were overwhelmingly black and Latino students,” she said.
“What is clear is that kids who are punished disproportionately to their violation of school codes are more likely to drop out.
Kids who are suspended are more likely to because drop outs.
That means the risk of that kid growing up and falling into real criminal behavior is real.”
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~Policing Schools: Why Are There Cops In Schools?~
~Published on Oct 30, 2015~
Since the ’90s, cops are working in more and more schools. But are they really keeping students safe, or pushing students into the school-to-prison pipeline?
We ALL are ONE!!