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Advancement Project – National Office Reaction to Montgomery County School District Reinstatement of Police Officers Into Public Schools

Montgomery County, MD –  Montgomery County Public Schools and the Montgomery County Police Department announced a new agreement that formally brings armed police officers back into Montgomery County Public Schools. While the new agreement (referred to as “CEO 2.0”) was executed on April 19th, it was not announced to the public until April 26th.

In response, Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project, a national civil rights and education advocacy group, released this statement:

“This decision is a devastating betrayal to the students of Montgomery County, their families, and their communities. Rebranding school police as ‘community engagement officers’ and expanding their roles walks back prior commitments to remove police from schools.  Police, by any name, will only harm students further.

“School police officers do not actually prevent gun-related incidents and shootings in school. Rather, they increase student anxiety as well as the number of suspensions, expulsions, and arrests of students, most of whom are children of color. In Montgomery County, Black students continue to be disproportionately arrested, constituting 36% of arrests at MCPS schools in the fall 2021-2022 semester despite making up only 14% of MCPS student population.

“We know students thrive when they have strong, supportive, and trusting relationships with adults and other students in their buildings. That’s why we’re calling for significant public investments in students rather than police. 

“Students deserve to pursue their education in safety and with dignity. We stand with our partners, Young People for Progress and MoCo Students Against Brutality, as well as Racial Justice Now!, as they continue to hold the superintendent, school district, and county officials accountable and demand real safety at school.”

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