National Campaign for Police Free Schools Rejects Call for More Police in Schools in Response to Nashville School Shooting
WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, the National Campaign for Police Free Schools released these statements from Advancement Project and Alliance for Educational Justice, co-conveners of the campaign:
“Once again we are mourning alongside a grieving community. We are devastated by the tragic murders of three children and three adults in Nashville. Young people deserve to be safe and nurtured while they learn and grow,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of the Advancement Project. “In moments like this, many people turn to increasing police presence in schools as an answer. In school districts such as Denver and Oakland student wellness and community will are being undermined by this desire for an easy, politically popular, yet ineffective answer to this ongoing crisis. But as we see time and again across the country, including in Uvalde and Parkland, police in schools do not prevent shootings. In these moments of national pain we can’t lose sight of what actually must be done to meet the needs of our students and communities. School leaders need to recommit to do the hard work of ensuring students have safe school environments based on community and evidence driven approaches to student wellness, belonging and safety.”
“What students and their families know is that the social contract with parents, that says they can trust that a school will be a safe place for their child, has long been broken. And it is clear the current public policy and campus safety solutions – including adding more police to schools – will not solve the problem, because they haven’t for the last two decades,” said Geoffrey Winder, Interim Director of the Alliance for Educational Justice. “The youth and members leading the National Campaign for Police Free Schools are innovating across the country with student centered and community led school safety alternatives to school police. What young people are pointing to in their solutions is not only their reimagining of safety and schools, but also the fundamental need for communities to demand different, better, and effective twenty-first century approaches to public safety beyond policing that will actually ensure community safety and rebuild the trust with parents that their child will come home at the end of school.”
In 2018, Advancement Project, Alliance for Educational Justice, Dignity in Schools Campaign, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund released “Police in Schools Are Not The Answer to School Shootings”, an issue brief explaining why police presence should not be increased in schools following mass shootings.
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Advancement Project is a next-generation, multi-racial civil rights organization. Rooted in the great human rights struggles for equality and justice, we exist to fulfill America’s promise of a caring, inclusive and just democracy. We use innovative tools and strategies to strengthen social movements and achieve high impact policy change. We are a co-convener of the National Campaign for Police Free schools, a formation of 20+ youth-led grassroots organizations fighting to end the criminalization of youth in the classroom, create liberatory educational spaces, and implement an affirmative vision of safety and transformative justice.Visit www.advancementproject.org to learn more.
The Alliance for Educational Justice is a national network of 30 youth-led and intergenerational groups across 12 states and 14 cities dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. Formed by its members, the Alliance brings two decades’ experience of building powerful campaigns for systemic change at the local, state and federal level. Core to us is a belief in youth organizing as an approach and proven methodology to develop youth leadership, facilitate personal transformation and create community change. We are a co-convener of the National Campaign for Police Free schools, a formation of 20+ youth-led grassroots organizations fighting to end the criminalization of youth in the classroom, create liberatory educational spaces, and implement an affirmative vision of safety and transformative justice.Visit policefreeschools.org to learn more.