Remove Police from Gwinnett County Public Schools!

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PETITION TO REMOVE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS

We demand police free schools in Gwinnett County! School resource officers do not make schools safer and undermine emotional safety. Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) should educate children how to interact with their peers and respond to conflict without arresting, tasing, and surveilling students’ social media.

We believe that misbehavior is a product of an unmet need, especially for children, and it is past time for GCPS to invest in a restorative, not punitive discipline system. Training sessions for officers will not help. We should hire more counselors, not cops! We are ready for a discipline system that is led by the community, counselors, and restorative justice practitioners that examine the root cause of misbehavior and seek to end the cycle of suspensions. Not only is discipline at GCPS ineffective but it is also discriminatory and disproportionately impacts students with disabilities and students of color – especially Black students.[i] Students with disabilities represent 12.3% of Gwinnett students but 27% of all students referred to law enforcement and receiving a school-based arrest.[ii] Black students are disproportionately referred to law enforcement and arrested in Gwinnett schools.[iii] Black students without disabilities comprise 30.7% percent of the student population yet represent 56.1% of referrals to law enforcement and 49.5% of school-based arrests.[iv] Black students represent 36% of students with disabilities and disproportionately represent of 58.1% of referrals to law enforcement and 56.6% of school-based arrests.[v]

We cannot overcome the dual role of SROs serving as both staff and police. Children can confide in school counselors but police have a mandate to report misconduct. They are fundamentally at odds with effective and safe education. Black students at GCPS have been forced to deal with a racist school culture that disproportionately disciplines them and fails to address racist incidents at their high schools.

The Gwinnett Parent Coalition to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline (Gwinnett SToPP) is a grassroots community‐centered organization focused on identifying and dismantling the school to prison pipeline in Gwinnett County through parent/student/community education, district monitoring and accountability, and recommending national best practices.

The time is now to end policing at GCPS and provide a better alternative for all students. Please join us as we call on GCPS to: Stop tasing! Stop arresting! Stop surveilling our kids! - Kick out cops!

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Visit us at www.gwinnettstopp.org for more information on joining the fight.

 

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[i] U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. (2015). Civil Rights Data Collection. Retrieved from https://ocrdata.ed.gov/Page?t=d&eid=28916&syk=8&pid=2539
[ii] Ibid
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Ibid
[v] Ibid