We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools

WE CAME TO LEARN

A CALL TO ACTION FOR POLICE FREE SCHOOLS

Safety does not exist when Black and Brown young people are forced to interact with a system of policing that views them as a threat and not as students. For many Black and Brown youth, the presence of police in their schools disrupts their learning environments. There is a culture clash that exists between law enforcement and the learning environment: police enforce criminal laws, while schools are supposed to nurture students. This report addresses the stark reality that police in schools is an issue of American racial disparity that requires deep structural change. We will explore the question of why police are in schools at all and conclude that police are incongruent with the educational environment we envision for our children.

First, this report examines the advent of policing practices in America’s public schools and their historical roots in suppressing Black and Latino student movement and the criminalization of Black childhood. We discuss the documented harms of school policing, including the disparate impact that policing has on students of color, students with disabilities, and students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, and asexual (LQBTQIA).

The report centers the voices of young people from around the country who describe the everyday indignities that they experience at the hands of school police. It also, for the first time, catalogues known assaults of young people by school police officers. The report shines a spotlight on three particular cases where young people were assaulted by school police and how their communities responded. These case studies – in Oakland, CA, in Philadelphia, PA, and in Spring Valley, SC, serve as models in the fight to end school policing. The report chronicles how Black and Brown youth have used organizing and advocacy to advance a vision of school safety that is not reliant on policing.

This report then documents the school policing model and discusses how school police became institutionalized in America’s public education system through funding and policy at both the federal and local level. This report exposes the broad lack of accountability that school police benefit from. By illustrating how different school police operations are structured and function, this report provides readers with a clearer understanding of how pervasive and negative the impact on educational outcomes for students of color truly is.

Finally, the report calls for the removal of police from schools and envisions schools where Black and Brown students are afforded the presumption of childhood that they deserve.  Policing in our schools must be supplanted by divesting from militarization and investing in community-building strategies that not only improve the quality of safety for students of color, but the quality of their educational experience.

We Came to Learn: Report

A call to action for police free schools

VIEW
We Came to Learn: Action Kit

A call to action for police free schools

VIEW
Action Kit Inside Pages

Download the Action Kit

The We Came to Learn Action Kit seeks to:

  • Offer a deep dive and analysis of the history and legacy of school policing
  • Build the capacity of youth organizers and communities to engage young people, parents and educators around school policing issues
  • Aid organizations to build transformative campaigns and movements that divest from, demilitarize and dismantle school policing strategies
  • Equip communities with tools to access school police data and budgets, and understand the oversight and governance structures (if any) of school police infrastructure(s) in your districts and cities
  • Shatter current and build new narratives on police, youth of color and school safety

KEEP READING

Esri, and the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions Partner to Launch Survey on Policing Budgets Across Country

Washington, DC – On February 25, 2021 at 10:00 am ET, the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri will host a virtual press briefing on the launch of a new initiative to survey and track policing budgets in targeted areas around the nation. The new initiative is an effort to aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like, neighborhood by neighborhood. Interested media can register to attend by visiting https://naacpheadquarters.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eMlWidmDQgeG1qKqHWkdDg. 2020 and 2021 presented highs and lows across the country. It has been exhausting for our nation, communities, and…

Read More
Police Brutality in Rochester Proves that Police ‘Reform’ is a Myth

By Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project Program Director Nothing short of police abolition will end the continued abuses of a system of policing designed to systematically oppress Black people and maintain a white supremacist status quo. Credit: Life Matters Last month, police in Rochester, New York pepper sprayed, manhandled, handcuffed and arrested a nine-year-old Black girl in obvious mental health crisis. This horrifying violence triggered a familiar and morbid routine: news coverage of this police brutality was met with strongly worded condemnations from political leaders, whose calls to reform policing were centered in the conversation; meanwhile…

Read More
National organizations pen letter to Montgomery County Council, Board of Education in support of removing police from schools

Following recent police assaults of young people in Florida and New York, the call for #PoliceFreeSchools in Montgomery County is emphatic

Read More
STATEMENT: Osceola Sheriff’s deputy viciously assaults student, underscoring urgency in call for #PoliceFreeSchools

After a year of #PoliceFreeSchools wins in cities nationwide, Advancement Project National Office and Alliance for Educational Justice respond to recent #AssaultAtLiberty

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement on President Biden’s Executive Orders Addressing Racial Equity

“We acknowledge and commend the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to make racial equality a legislative priority and center piece to their agenda."

Read More
Fighting for Voting Rights is How We Honor Dr. King’s Legacy

By Jorge L. Vasquez, Jr., Program Director, Power and Democracy until every eligible voter has equal access to the polls and every voting age citizen is eligible to vote without unnecessary and unwarranted interference, there will always be citizens who, as Dr. King coined, “cannot live as a democratic citizen.” “So long as I do not firmly and irrevocably possess the right to vote I do not possess myself. I cannot make up my mind-it is made up for me. I cannot live as a democratic citizen, observing the laws I have helped to enact-I can only submit…

Read More
Police Continue to Protect White Supremacy

If this attack on the Capitol showed one thing, it’s that law and order only applies to Black and Brown people. By Marques Banks, Justice Project Staff Attorney As the nation watched white supremacists storm the United States Capitol, I thought about how police react in strikingly different ways to white protesters versus Black protesters. I am a lawyer who has supported protests over police murders from Mike Brown to George Floyd. I was in the streets and personally watched as my friends, colleagues, and other protesters were beaten, teargassed, and arrested in massive numbers for exercising their…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Responds to DA Announcement in Jacob Blake Shooting

The Kenosha County District Attorney, Michael Graveley, today announced that Rusten Sheskey, the police officer who shot Jacob Blake seven times in August will not be criminally charged.

Read More
Arnold & Porter Partners with Advancement Project National Office to Address Equity in Education

Washington, DC — December 17, 2020 — Arnold & Porter and Advancement Project National Office announced today that they have established a three-year partnership to address systemic inequalities in the United States education system. The partnership will support the Advancement Project National Office’s mission to fight systemic racism in schools, which continues to disproportionately impact students of color, as well as low-income students. “All children deserve equitable access to high quality education,” said Arnold & Porter firm Chairman Richard Alexander. “We look forward to partnering with the Advancement Project National Office on a range of initiatives from expanding our pro…

Read More
National Civil Rights Groups Sue Louisiana Judges, Sheriff Over Unconstitutional Bail System

Lawsuit aims to end Baton Rouge’s cash bail system after another person dies awaiting trial at local jail BATON ROUGE, LA – Last night, Fair Fight Initiative, MacArthur Justice Center and Advancement Project National Office sued East Baton Rouge officials in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, seeking to end the immoral and unconstitutional practice of wealth-based incarceration in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison (EBRPP). The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four individuals who are being held inside of EBRPP and are unable to afford their bail.

Read More