Remove police from Manor ISD schools

Remove police from Manor ISD schools

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Folasade Fashina started this petition to Mayor of Manor Larry Wallace Jr. and

In Fall 2019, Manor Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to create its own police department, ending its contract with the Travis County Sheriff's Office which has supplied Student Resource Officers (SROs) to its campuses for years. The district plans to spend between $1.3 and $1.6 million on its police department annually starting this fall, dramatically increasing police presence across its campuses. This decision by the MISD school board is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Heightened policing of the district’s majority Black and Latinx student population will neither protect them nor promote academic achievement. 


Plentiful research on the school-to-prison pipeline shows that increased security on school campuses is less conducive to learning and increases police’s opportunity to funnel Black and Brown students into the criminal justice system for minor offenses. Zero tolerance policies, broken window policing and exclusionary discipline such as suspension and expulsion are far more likely to be enforced against students of color, and we’ve seen it happen to our peers in Manor ISD with our own eyes.


As former students ourselves, we witnessed first hand the excessive force used by Travis County SROs against students. Classes are routinely interrupted by drug-sniffing police dogs and students are forcibly detained for non-violent offenses, ripping them out of the classroom and diminishing their opportunities for success. 


“They might be able to help with students who are tardy to class,” said Daniel Vera, assistant superintendent of operations at Manor ISD. We ask, why exactly do we need police to intervene when a student is tardy to class, or any school policy transgression that could be solved with more effective behavior management strategies? The district needs to work on keeping its students in the classroom, and increasingly relying on police to enforce attendance and behavior policies drives students away with fear and intimidation. Manor ISD students are not criminals, and we will not stand by and watch them be surveilled and punished as such.  


We urge Manor ISD to help protect its already vulnerable student population by suspending its plans to create its own police department and removing police presence from its schools immediately. Furthermore, we urge the district to put that $1.6 million toward more productive endeavors that will promote student achievement such as: 

- Comprehensive college readiness advising 
- SAT and ACT prep
- Updated teaching materials and textbooks 
- Increased material support for low-income and at-risk students
- More support for the arts & extracurricular enrichment 

As people across the nation wake up to the despicable legacies of police brutality and racism, we cannot stand by as our own police forces become more aggressive on our campuses and increasingly endanger the safety and success of students of color. An educational environment is no place for police to interfere - as Minneapolis ISD has made clear - and we will not wait until one of our own is a hashtag to mourn. 

Join Folasade Fashina and co-author Katelyn Landry in fighting over policing in Manor ISD by signing our petition today

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At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!