National organizations pen letter to Montgomery County Council, Board of Education in support of removing police from schools
Gina Physic, 202-505-4659, [email protected]
Following recent police assaults of young people in Florida and New York, the call for #PoliceFreeSchools in Montgomery County is emphatic
WASHINGTON, DC – Advancement Project National Office and Alliance for Educational Justice today sent a letter to Montgomery County Council and Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education enthusiastically supporting the call to remove police from schools in the Maryland county. Council members Will Jawando and Hans Riemer introduced the bill that would prohibit the county police chief from implementing the school resource officer (SRO) program, which places armed officers in most public high schools and some middle schools in Montgomery County. A public hearing on the bill will take place this evening. State Delegates Gabriel Acevero and Jheanelle Wilkins, representing Montgomery County, have introduced a similar state bill.
“If we have learned anything from the historic moment spurred by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, it is that police cannot be trusted to keep communities of color safe. Years of Montgomery County Public Schools data reflecting a relentless school-to-prison pipeline indicate disparate criminalization of students of color by the police,” explained Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office. “Officers that roam school hallways are no different from the officers on the streets and thus, a new vision for safety in schools must emerge from this crisis.”
“Many of the people who oppose police-free schools point to a rise in gang activity in Montgomery County as a justification for police in schools. But there is no clear evidence that police in schools actually reduce student crime,” added Jonathan Stith, National Director of Alliance for Educational Justice. “Schools are places of learning, where all students should feel welcomed, and nurtured to grow. Schools are not places for law enforcement to avoid civil rights protections in order to have access to young people in ways that would be illegal elsewhere in our communities.”
It is not possible for a policing culture that allows for the brutality we see on a consistent basis to coexist with the nurturing culture that students need to thrive. Montgomery County is not immune from this policing culture. In this time of crisis, we all have the responsibility to care for and support our most vulnerable communities. We need to support the wellbeing of our students by investing in the supports that will truly guide them through to adulthood.
We urge Montgomery County to follow in the steps of progressive cities who have already taken the necessary steps to protect students and create environments where they can thrive by enforcing #PoliceFreeSchools. From Oakland, California to Madison, Wisconsin, youth organizers have effectively made the case to dismantle school policing. Phoenix, San Jose, Denver, Milwaukee, Rochester, and San Francisco are just a few of the places where youth have forged campaigns to build the schools they truly deserve, spaces with affirming resources free from policing and criminalization.
To learn more about our campaign for #PoliceFreeSchools, visit:
- We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools
- Our #AssaultAt Map charting the countless incidents of students being assaulted by school police in their places of learning
To learn more about the demands of local Montgomery County youth groups, click here.
Advancement Project National Office 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. Visit www.advancementproject.org
Alliance for Educational Justice is a national alliance of Black and oppressed youth leading a movement to end the war on youth in our schools and waging struggle for education as liberation. #PoliceFreeSchools | #EndWarOnYou