Letter to School District of Philadelphia: #PoliceFreeSchools Necessary to Protect Black and Brown Children
We, alongside Alliance for Educational Justice, advocate for the removal of all police officers and school security guards provided by the Office of School Safety (OSS) and the termination of ties with external law enforcement such as the Philadelphia Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If we have learned anything from this historic moment spurred by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, it is that police cannot be trusted to keep us safe. Years of data from the School District of Philadelphia (PSD) reflect a relentless school-to-prison pipeline and the disparate criminalization of students of color by the police. PSD has a duty to protect students from a policing infrastructure whose culture allows for the brutal and violent use of force against peaceful protesters. Officers that roam school hallways are no different from the officers on the streets of Philadelphia and thus, a new vision for safety must emerge from this crisis. The historic, unanimous votes from the Minneapolis and Denver school boards to remove police from schools demonstrates that a police free schools future is both possible and necessary to protect the safety and humanity of Black and Brown children.