I haven’t written about it in a while, but I continue to be committed to supporting the removal of SRO’s from the Howard County Schools. It was nudged back into my consciousness this week by this excellent informative video put out by the The Howard County Coalition for Police-Free Schools.
Think you understand the police-free schools conversation - who's having it, where they stand, and why?
It begins with a very good question: why don’t all kids get the gift of police-free schools?
As the video unfolds it becomes clear that police-free schools are a privilege granted to some, but not all, of our students. When you see the data concerning Black and Brown students and special needs students/ students with disabilities in schools where SRO’s are assigned, it’s appalling. If you’ve heard people use the term “school to prison pipeline” but you aren’t really clear on what this means, the numbers collected right here in Howard County will make it alarmingly plain.
You can clearly see why attending a school free of policing is truly a gift.
Watch. Read. Think again - then take action.
I urge you to take the time to watch the video and really think about what it says. Then find a friend or a family member to watch it and talk about it with you. If you have Middle and High School students in your family make sure to include them in your conversations. Did you learn something you hadn’t known? What concerned you the most? How do you see yourself entering into the community conversation?
The power is yours.
Spread the word.
You can get more information by going to: Peers Not Perps or you can send them an email with your specific questions at PeersNotPerps@gmail.com .
National news is full of examples of how police respond to citizens in very different ways depending on color. The data collected from the SRO program right here in Howard County is sadly consistent with this. See below for a way to sign up to speak on behalf of Police-Free Schools at the January 21st Board of Education meeting.
The school system has a responsibility to provide a healthy, safe, supportive school environment for all students. We as community members have a responsibility to step in and advocate when we see our schools fall short.
The video is approximately four minutes long. Watch it and join the conversation.
From the Howard County Coalition for Police-Free Schools:
League of Women Voters of Maryland takes an anti-SRO stance: https://www.lwvmd.org/lwvmd_supports_par
HCPSS BoE Calendar (please sign up to testify on the 7th or 21st): https://www.hcpss.org/board/meetings/