Police Do Not Belong in Our Schools, and They Do Not Keep Our Children Safe in School.
As recently as 2014, Montgomery County only had 6 police officers in schools. Yet today there are armed police officers, also known as School Resource Officers (SROs), in each of Montgomery County’s 26 public high schools.
No national or Maryland study has found that SROs decrease school violence. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that SROs make school shootings three times more deadly. MCPS already hires 249 security staff members, and every high school has an On Site Emergency Team supported by a cluster security coordinator.
The misguided ‘Reimagining School Safety and Student Wellbeing’ task force
On April 23, the County Executive launched the ‘Reimagining School Safety and Student Wellbeing’ initiative, which fails to commit to removing police from MCPS. The initiative instead assumes police will remain part of school security. This decision to maintain a dangerous practice that harms all students — especially Black and brown students and students with disabilities — undermines the wellbeing and the activism of the very students the task force claims to support.
Most alarming, the ‘Reimagining School Safety’ initiative seems designed to build a case for the Community Resource Officer (CRO) model — which simply repurposes School Resource Officers into another harmful role. CROs will simply be stationed outside school buildings, with the same ability to criminalize, arrest, and traumatize students. And in the case of elementary and middle schools, the CRO program adds new police presence where there was none before. Community Resource Officers (CROs) are essentially SROs in all but name only. Read more here.