Petition update

Here we go again ... School board will consider arming school police officers

Aimee Harmon-Darrow
Baltimore, MD, United States

Sep 27, 2018 — 

Three years ago we declared victory in killing a bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would allow Baltimore City School Police to carry weapons in our schools. Since that time, Baltimore City has seen the Freddie Gray tragedy, a DOJ report that implicates the school police force, and continued incidents of school police using physical violence against our students. Arming school police may lead to a student's unfortunate death. But the Baltimore City School Board is considering doing just that. We need your help and your voice again.

On October 11, 2018, the The Board of School Commissioners for Baltimore City Schools is having a Board Forum on School Police and Carrying Weapons in order to potentially introduce a similar bill in this upcoming session. We must let them know that guns have no place in our school, especially in the hands of officers who feel empowered to pull the trigger if they feel their personal safety is at risk. THIS IS A TRAGEDY WAITING TO HAPPEN. Our schools should not resemble prisons with armed guards. This is not the way to create a conducive learning environment. This is not the way to further restorative practices. 

What you can do: 

1. Please email the school board and ask them to abandon this effort. 

EMAIL: schoolboard@bcps.k12.md.us (for general inquiries) and policyreview@bcps.k12.md.us (for policy questions)

2. Attend the School Board Meeting to let the Commissioners SEE your opposition to this effort. 

Thank you! Below you will find a list of information and updates to the issue from the past three years:

*We only just got school police policies earlier this year after waiting THREE YEARS for them (asked during debate on the bill, repeatedly). They were just adopted in mid-June http://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/bcpss/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=AZRTRP6AA8C6
*School police are covered by the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights which prohibits disclosure about personnel records, including to parents and school leadership. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-aclu-leobr-20150117-story.html
*School police are affirmatively included in the consent decree. http://www.naacpldf.org/document/ldf-letter-doj-requesting-expansion-fed-investigation-school-police and http://www.mdd.uscourts.gov/sites/mdd/files/ConsentDecree_0.pdf and https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/883296/download (DOJ investigatory report, see p 155)
*51% of students who responded to a survey agreed or strongly agreed that school police used force to resolve conflicts (69% said the force was physical, followed by mace/pepper spray)
*We spend $7m a year on school police https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/cms/lib/MD01001351/Centricity/Domain/8051/20180512_FY19_AdoptedBudget.pdf but only $2.6m on STEM and $4.5M on social-emotional learning despite a new blueprint for city schools that emphasizes student wholeness and restorative practices https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/cms/lib/MD01001351/Centricity/Domain/10958/PDF/08212017_Blueprint_Wholeness.pdf
*The School Board is going to consider legislation to permit officers to carry weapons before we adopt a long-delayed equity policy? Schedueld for adoption May 2018, first stakeholder meeting actually happened June 2018 https://www.boarddocs.com/mabe/bcpss/Board.nsf/files/AWKRWE6FF7B3/$file/2017-18%20Policy%20Matrix%20-%20Updated%2002.16.2018.pdf


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