Policing The Schoolyard

Bouie notes that “the number of students who are suspended or expelled nationwide has been on the increase for the last decade.” He suggests that on-campus cops are one reason why:

Schools with more police might be safer from violence, but there are also unintended consequences to exposing students to law enforcement. “With the increase of police in schools, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in school-based student arrests, particularly of youth of color,” writes Judith Browne Dianis, co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil-rights group. “Instead of addressing infrequent, serious threats to safety, police officers in schools often respond to minor student misbehavior by handcuffing, arresting, and criminalizing the very young people they are intended to protect.”

“Criminalizing” is the key word here; police aren’t arresting students for illegal behavior as much as they are detaining them for breaking rules and violating codes of conduct.