In response to the article, “Police chief: School resource officer rules under review,” published on Oct. 4, instead of limiting the number of arrests of students, I would argue for the solution of not arresting any students, period.
According to an article published May 24 by the ACLU of Washington, “Research shows that the presence of SROs is detrimental to the welfare of our children, leading to the increased criminalization of youth for child-like behaviors.” The article tells us that the federal government spends $1 billion annually on funding SROs when evidence has shown the presence of SROs does not decrease the rate of school shootings.
Additionally, the arrest rates in schools with SROs is three times greater than in schools without an SRO, which only perpetuates the systemic school-to-prison process that punishes juveniles into the criminal justice system, denying them the right to attend school.
The juveniles who find themselves in the criminal justice system are more likely to be pushed out of school permanently, fail to graduate, be arrested again, or end up in adult prisons.
More importantly, disproportionate rates students of color or with disabilities find themselves in the criminal justice system.
Alarming, too, is that most school arrests are for non-serious issues, such as bad grades, tardiness, disorderly conduct such as cursing or not following directions.
Please put our youth first, remove SROs from the schools and stop arresting our students period – instead of just decreasing arrests for minor offenses.