Police Have No Place in New York's Public Schools 1

Police Have No Place in New York’s Public Schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 3, 2020) — Yesterday the Minneapolis Board of Education voted to sever its relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), which until now had been the recipient of more than $1 million in education funds to put its officers in schools. In response, the public education advocacy organization Alliance for Quality Education released the following statement:

“The Minneapolis Board of Education proved yesterday that police-free schools are possible, following in the footsteps of districts like Toronto in recognizing the danger and harm that police officers in schools represent to Black and Brown students. The school-to-prison pipeline starts as early as pre-K and kindergarten where Black children are harshly disciplined for behaviors that are considered age-appropriate for white children. The presence of police in schools does not equate to safety especially for Black, Latinx, LGBTQIA, immigrant and disabled youth. We must take action in every locality to sever ties between police and schools,” said Jasmine Gripper, Executive Director, Alliance for Quality Education.”

“Public schools across New York right now are struggling with cuts to essential educational services that support students’ social and emotional wellbeing, at a time that many children, and especially Black and Brown children, are processing the trauma of a pandemic and images of police brutality that have ripped through our communities. New York City alone is looking at making $700 million in cuts to schools, which translates to cuts to critical staff, like teachers and counselors. We need to divest from policing and invest in supporters for students. Instead of wasting resources on destructive and racist practices, it is essential at this time of crisis that we instead support students by investing in restorative justice programs, social workers, guidance counselors and an engaging curriculum. A world without police and prisons can begin with New York State schools divesting from police and ending their reliance on the carceral state.”

“It has never been clearer than in this moment that police officers have no place in our communities, and especially not among our children in public schools. Too many Black and Brown children are exposed to the violence at the hands of police officers in their youth, and too many of those instances take place in their schools where they are supposed to be safe. We no longer have a choice: we cannot continue traumatizing our children and perpetuating the school-to-prison pipeline by allowing police officers in their hallways and classrooms. School districts across New York State can and must follow Minneapolis’ lead and end ties between public schools and police departments.”