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Police-Free Schools Advocacy Resources

January 26, 2023
Courtney M. McSwain

Making Safety Sacred: Stand up for Police-Free SchoolsSafety is a core value we all share. Families of all races, income levels, cultural backgrounds and zip codes want to live in a safe environment where they have the opportunity to pursue happiness and enjoy loved ones around them. When we send our children to school, we want to watch them blossom into their full potential, not experience the emotional stress of fearing for their safety daily. Yet, that's precisely what so many youth experience when they attend schools where the presence of police makes them feel targeted and under constant surveillance. Black, Brown and Indigenous youth consistently describe feeling at risk when police officers patrol their schools because of the ways youth of color are targeted and funneled into the school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline.

Policies that double down on police in schools are often justified by the rationale that they will help curb school mass shootings. However, research consistently proves having armed law enforcement on school grounds does not stop mass shootings. Instead, evidence shows the presence of police in schools increases chronic absenteeism, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, expulsions and arrest of young people, which we know are all contributing factors to the school-to-prison pipeline. Such negative impacts are more likely to affect students of color and students with disabilities.

As the youth justice movement joins forces to push back on increased police presence in schools, we have a critical opportunity to advance the holistic vision of physical, mental and emotional safety as sacred for all children. Police officers in schools simply don't make our children safer.

Below, we’ve curated recent NJJN publications that can help you advocate for police-free schools in your community. 

Research & Policy: 

Making the Case for Police-Free Schools - Messging and Framing: 

>>Visit our publications page for more resources.

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