We all want to feel safe whether it’s the person you are with, the restaurant you’re dining in, the parade you’re supporting or the school you’re sending your child off to.
Safety is a privilege civilians are given by police officers around neighborhoods, cities and schools. Police officers are supposed to be officers of the law, authoritative figures who are supposed to help limit crime and protect citizens from harm. But now it seems that people who are supposed to be keeping us safe are the ones citizens are in need of protection from, and schools are wanting cops out.
In 1997, law enforcement officers were regularly stationed in 10 percent of schools in the U.S. in all public schools. By 2014, law enforcement officers were stationed in about one-third of schools, according to the Huffington Post. Now, over 100 educational groups want to disband cops out of schools.
Putting law enforcement in schools was supposed to be a way to promote school discipline and youth civilization. It was supposed to help parents, students and faculty feel safer.
However, police officers have been in the spotlight due to many controversial acts regarding police brutality recently. Their reputation as officers of the law and authority is crumbling down.
In the last year alone, school-based police officers have been caught hurling a female student across a classroom in South Carolina and body-slamming a student in Texas and slapping a teenager in Baltimore, according to the Huffington Post.
These acts of injustice and brutality do not make people feel safer. It’s actually increasing the likelihood for a student to be referred to outside law enforcement, contributing to what is known as the school-to-prison pipeline, according to the Huffington Post.
People want to kick cops out of schools, but also want to stay safe. There are recommendations on alternatives for school-based police officers. School districts want to maintain a safe environment for students and staff and are suggesting ways to achieve that goal.
The Dignity in Schools Campaign wants to remove law enforcement personnel and suggests their roles be restricted so they are not intervening with minor misbehaviors and disciplines, according to the DSC.
School-based officers are less regulated than police officers. But whether you are a cop in a school or on the streets of New York City, everyone has rules to follow. There are regulations and ethical behaviors police officers should be abiding by. However, some believe they are of higher authority and power than the rest.
Police officers can be seen as abusing their power and killing innocent people because of race. Police brutality is a serious matter that has to change for the sake of lives, equality and the way we treat each other as a society.
There are cops trying to help communities become safer places. However, there are cops who are creating a reputation of brutality that is affecting them all. It’s understandable why people do not feel safe around cops and why having them in schools has become another controversial issue surrounding police officers.
People have to start trusting cops again and believe that they are here to protect us before they continue to put law enforcement into school districts. But that isn’t going to happen until the police brutality stops. There is too much bad going on for any good to come across school-based police officers.
Email Emily Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org