Defund the Kern High School District Police

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Board Members Bryan Batey, Jeff Flores, Cynthia Brakeman, Janice Graves, Joey O'Connell, and Superintendent Bryon Schaffer:

In 2015, The Guardian named Kern County as having the DEADLIEST police force in the nation. Shamefully, these are the same police officers that often end up in the Kern High School District Police Department (KHSDPD), watching over our students, contributing to a rotten system of student criminalization. This unacceptable and historically damaging exposure of students to law enforcement needs to stop immediately. 

On June 2nd, the Minneapolis Public School Board voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis police department in response to the death of George Floyd. This courageous decision has inspired many other school districts across the nation to reevaluate their relationship with the police and adopt similar measures.  

We are at a critical moment where we must redefine school safety, take a step towards progress, and invest in restorative practices and programs that are rooted in racial justice and equity for our black and minoritized students.

Parents, students, clergy, and community members, demand that the Kern High School District approve a 2020-21 budget that defunds the KHSD police department and diverts the approximately $4 million to:

  1. Hiring additional counselors, school-based social workers, psychologists, mental health clinicians and nurses.
  2. Hiring diverse educators that reflect the student population
  3. Implementing Ethnic Studies    
  4. Hiring Restorative Justice practitioners and removing police from all restorative justice models and Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.

Did you know that:

  • The KHSD has only 6 nurses to serve 39,081 students. However, they employ 29 full time police officers. (Source: KHSD 2019-20 LCAP)
  • In 2019 the KHSD spent approximately $4 million on KHSD police. (Source: Transparency California & KHSD provided information)
  • Despite KHSD’s $1 million allocation for the recruitment of Black and Latinx teachers, the districts demographics do not reflect the current student population (Source 2017-20 LCAP & Data from KHSD Community Forum)
    Students- 67% Latinx, 5% Black, 20% White, 5% other
    Teachers- 64% White, 17% Latinx, 3% Black, 15% other
  • In 2017 the KHSD settled a historic lawsuit which showed the district’s disproportionate rates of suspension, expulsion and disciplinary practices for Black and Latinx students. Currently, Black students are still 2-3 times more likely to be suspended and expelled at KHSD. (Source: KHSD Community Forum Data)
  • KHSD’s ratios of support services (Data provided by KHSD)
    318 students to 1 Counselor
    1628 students to 1 Social worker 
    1503 students to 1 Psychologist