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Advancement Project National Office Statement: We Applaud Prince George’s County Public School Board’s Proposal to Cut Ties With Police and Urge School Districts Nationwide to Follow Suit

On Monday, June 8, Prince George’s (PG) County Public School Board members will propose a measure to defund PG County police officers in PG County Schools. This proposal came swiftly after both Minneapolis and Portland School Boards voted to terminate their contracts with their respective police departments, following the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 25. 

School board members David Murray and Edward Burroughs say the measure would remove armed police officers from PG County district schools and reduce school security guard staffing. Endorsed by racial justice advocacy organization Progressive Maryland, the proposal will also reallocate money from the police department to social workers, mental health services and other community resources. 

“As a mother whose daughter just graduated from Prince George’s Public Schools and someone who has worked for decades to end the school-to-prison pipeline, I know first hand that our priorities must shift to investing in our children,” stated Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Our schools are woefully under-resourced. Schools need restorative justice programs, mental health professionals, books and technology. This moment should teach us to invest in Black futures, not criminalization. Our children deserve better.”

Advancement Project National Office and our partner in the fight for #PoliceFreeSchools, Alliance for Educational Justice, applaud the school board’s initiative to ensure that students attending PG County public schools are safe from the threat of police violence. We encourage school districts nationwide to continue to follow Minneapolis’ powerful lead and end all contracts with local law enforcement, indefinitely. 

In partnership with the Alliance for Educational Justice, Advancement Project National Office works with youth organizations across the country such as Philadelphia Student Union, Padres y Jóvenes Unidos, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Freedom Inc., and many other organizations who understand how crucial it is to abolish police presence in schools, and have been urging this kind of radical movement across school boards for years. 

We, along with our grassroots partners, support this proposal and look forward to Monday’s announcement as it represents a critical first step toward building a future with #PoliceFreeSchools.

 

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