COUNSELORS NOT COPS AT MAC HIGH, PROTECT BLACK AND LATINX STUDENTS

COUNSELORS NOT COPS AT MAC HIGH, PROTECT BLACK AND LATINX STUDENTS

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Hannah Smith started this petition to Amy Fast and

The presence of police in schools has escalated dramatically in the last several decades, and the figures on arrests and referrals to law enforcement show disproportionate targeting of Black and Latinx students. This is just one aspect of the school-to-prison pipeline, where some students are denied an opportunity to succeed, and instead are pushed out of school and into the juvenile or criminal justice system. While the complete emotional, social and financial impact of daily police presence in schools is not fully understood, it is clear that students and their families are criminalized, and that school-based arrests and referrals to law enforcement go up when police have a regular presence in schools. At McMinnville Highschool this can be seen in the disproportionate number of Latinx students criminalized and sent to "Cook Campus" effectively banning them from our main campus, greatly impeding their educational success. 

Students of color, especially Black students, face the greatest risks. School-based arrest rates and corporal punishment are much higher for Black and Latinx students, and studies have shown that subjects are more likely to shoot Black individuals in split-second situations, a topic highlighted in recent news. There has also been an increase in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment in schools, and students are already feeling fearful. 

There is no evidence that armed personnel make schools safer during a school shooting. Armed police were present at Virginia Tech, Columbine and Parkland. The majority of mass shootings end when the shooter decides to end them, not by intervention by law enforcement, according to a FBI study. (See Dignity in Schools Sourcing) 


Funneling money into more school police and other practices that criminalize students is not the answer to promoting safety in schools. Here is why. We need to invest in counselors, social workers, Restorative Justice Coordinators, Community Intervention Workers and other supportive school staff that actually create safer schools.


 Having entrances and halls monitored by staff like Community Intervention Workers who know the student body well can preemptively address issues, intervene as conflicts arise, and quickly identify when something is wrong that requires an emergency response. School Resource Officers are police, not counselors or social workers. Students deserve trained mental health professionals. Telling students they can go to an SRO for counseling (when the SRO can report their conversations as part of a criminal investigation) is ineffective and can lead to negative consequences.


The Dignity in Schools Campaign has developed an updated set of Model Policies to Fight Criminalization that build on recommendations from our Model Code on Education & Dignity, last released in 2019. These resources provide recommendations for schools, districts, states and federal policy-makers to end the regular presence of law enforcement in schools and end the criminalization of students. The Model Policies are based on best practices, research and experiences of students, parents, intervention workers, peace-builders and educators from around the country, and on a human rights framework for schools. They are designed so that communities and policymakers can identify specific areas of concern and implement the recommended language, including changing laws and policies, while taking into account the diverse needs and characteristics of individual communities. 

SIGN THIS PETITION TO IMPLEMENT POLICIES AT MCMINNVILLE HIGHSCHOOL THAT PROTECT BLACK AND LATINX STUDENTS. 

To see the direct policy changes we are proposing go to: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MQb0_gLV9b1u77Rb6JoHMH36ntashBlVIqy1hJQeUE0/edit?usp=sharing

Preview: 

Reform Substance / Drug Abuse Policies and Criminalization 

Protect Student Confidentiality to Prevent Criminalization 

Protect Immingrant Families from Law Enforcement Agencies such as ICE

Reform Expulsion and Suspension Responses 

 

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!