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Schools Could Give School Resource Officers More Authority To Use Force Against Students

#Minnesota lawmakers are nearing a compromise to clarify #police officers' authority to use force in schools, prompted by reactions to #GeorgeFloyd's murder. Around 40 police departments withdrew officers from schools due to concerns over restrictions on prone restraints. 

A recent House vote passed changes allowing school resource officers to use prone restraints, with improved training and policies. The bill prohibits officers from disciplining students for school policy violations. While some activists opposed changes, bipartisan negotiations led to consensus. 

Police groups endorsed the compromise to return officers to schools swiftly. Many districts had removed officers following Floyd's death, sparking a national trend. For example, Los Angeles Unified School District cut more than 100 of its officers in 2020. The legislation emphasizes training and for officers to understand adolescent behavior and enjoy working with students.

According to a CATO Institute study titled "School Resource Officers: Is Police Presence in Schools Doing More Harm than Good?" it was found that criminalizing misbehavior can perpetuate the school-to-prison pipeline by limiting future opportunities in education, employment, and housing. This can heighten the risk of recidivism as individuals are deprived of avenues to build personal capital. Research shows that heightened police presence in #Texas schools resulted in reduced high school graduation rates by 2.5 percent and college enrollment rates by approximately 4 percent.

We reject the notion that increased police presence in schools is synonymous with safety. Instead, we advocate for divesting from punitive policing practices and investing in resources that address the root causes of harm and promote healing and transformation. By centering the principles of equity, justice, and community empowerment, we can create learning environments where all students thrive and are treated with dignity and respect.



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