No More Police in Lake Washington Schools

No More Police in Lake Washington Schools

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Indivisible Kirkland started this petition to Lake Washington School District

George Floyd’s death has once again focused national attention on our systemic policing problems: bias, overreach, brutality, lack of accountability. Around the country, school districts are responding by voting to sever their relationships with local law enforcement.

As parents and community members of the Lake Washington School District, we are asking LWSD to demonstrate our community’s commitment to social justice and racial equity by ending the School Resource Officer (SRO) program in our schools. We must protect our tweens and teens from the risks of exposure to the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. While many students have had good experiences with specific SROs, the risk of having armed police on middle and high school campuses is too great to ignore.  


SRO programs can no longer be considered an educational best practice. There is no evidence that they reduce crime or school shootings. There is evidence, on the other hand, that SRO programs put students at risk (especially students of color, students with disabilities, and students in the LBGTQ+ community), that they feed the school-to-prison pipeline, and that they can even worsen academic outcomes in students of color.


School counselors, in contrast, do improve school climate and help students with the behavioral and mental health challenges that too many of our young people face. Yet LWSD has far fewer counselors than the American School Counselors Association recommends.


It’s time to stop spending our limited educational resources on maintaining an armed police presence in our middle and high schools. Let’s invest that money in our students’ mental health and wellbeing instead.

We call on Lake Washington School District to:

  • End the regular presence of sworn officers and armed security in LWSD schools.
  • Reinvest SRO funding in school counselors, social workers, and other positive behavior intervention.
  • Form a task force to examine Dignity in Schools’ model code, and to propose modifications to LWSD policy to bring us into alignment with best practices.

A longer position paper with citations is available at bit.ly/no-sros.

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