In the latest example of Democrats moving to pacify Black Lives Matter at the expense of, well, black lives, the Oakland Unified School District voted Wednesday to abolish the police force charged with protecting public schools from crime.
From the San Jose Mercury News:
In an unanimous vote, the board passed the “George Floyd Resolution to Eliminate Oakland Schools Police Department.” The annual $2.5 million spent on the 10 sworn officers and police administrators is instead expected to be redirected toward other student support services and restorative justice efforts.
Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell has from August until Dec. 31 to build a new alternative safety plan, which will include input from a committee of community members and other stakeholders.
Of the nearly 30 speakers who addressed the board Wednesday, all were in favor of the elimination of the police force. Some spoke about how black and brown students can feel dehumanized, disrespected and generally not safe with having police on campus. Others urged the board to set an example for the nation in their act of removing police.
In addition to getting rid of the police as a whole, the move to get police out of schools has attracted considerable momentum on the left. According to authors like Monique Morris, having a law enforcement presence in schools leads to greater criminalization of black students.
“The presence of police in schools, I believe, is fueled by a dehumanization of children of color, which suggests that there needs to be a constant surveillance of these children in schools,” Morris told KQED.com. “For children of color, we see that this leads to a hyper-criminalization and a way that people perceive them to be criminal, even if they are just being children.”
Others, like educator John Rosiak, say the problem isn’t so much having police in schools but to make sure that posted officers know that their role in such an environment will differ from what it would be out on the streets.
“Based on my experience working with some excellent SROs who really understand crime prevention and who do not want to arrest students, I believe police officers can be an important addition to our schools,” Rosiak wrote in Education Week. “From my experience training many SROs around the country, I know that we can establish the right climate of safety that is conducive to learning—if we employ well-trained officers who genuinely like working with students.”
While it’s probably best that we don’t have cops putting kindergartners in handcuffs for chewing gum in class, the idea that we should take them out of schools altogether is madness. It’s right there in line with pretending that making schools “gun free zones” will someone protect students from a psycho with an AR-15. We need to have serious, evidence-based discussions about these issues instead of making decisions based on protest slogans.