October 7, 2020
Welcome to the Dignity in Schools Campaign’s National Week of Action against School Pushout! We are proud to stand with our community partners to highlight the importance of police-free schools to make schools a safer environment for ALL students. Through October 11, you can join the Week of Action by following along on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll also be holding a virtual town hall on school police with the Maryland Coalition to Reform School Discipline on October 14 – watch the PJC and CRSD social media pages for details (Follow CRSD on Facebook and Twitter).
Studies show that when officers are in schools, they arrest students for childhood behaviors, like fighting and disruption, that might merit a trip to the principal’s office but not criminal charges. Black students and students with disabilities are particularly at risk, facing disproportionate rates of school-based arrest. At the same time, police presence has not deterred school shootings or reduced any kind of school violence at all. Putting police in schools criminalizes kids for being kids while doing nothing to improve school safety.
This Thursday, the Maryland House of Delegates Work Group on Police Reform and Accountability continues debate on its police reform recommendations for the 2021 legislative session. If your delegate is a member of the Work Group listed below, email them to ask them to support a recommendation to get police out of schools, and to reinvest the $10 million a year Maryland spends on school police in student mental health services, restorative practices, and wraparound supports – interventions shown to actually make schools safer.
Vanessa Atterbeary, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gabriel Acevero, email@example.com
Curt Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Darryl Barnes, email@example.com
Debra Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanika Fisher, email@example.com
Michael Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org
David Moon, email@example.com
Samuel Rosenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sheree Sample-Hughes, email@example.com
Not sure if your delegate is on this list? Click here to find out.
The PJC is also participating in local campaigns for police-free schools: check out sign-on letters from the Baltimore Movement of Rank and File Educators and the Howard County Police Free Schools Coalition, as well as this op-ed from former student board members in Montgomery County.
Hometown heroes Torrey Smith and Adalius Thomas are spot on when explaining what many students, parents, and communities of color have been saying for years: regular police presence in schools makes our students less safe, not more. Check out Torrey’s brief video remarks here and Adalius’ op-ed in the Baltimore Sun here.