Report: On-Campus Policing Disproportionately Harms Low-Income Students of Color
The American Civil Liberties Union released a report last week that reveals how low-income students, disabled students, and students of color suffer the most when police are called in to handle situations at schools.
The report, The Right to Remain a Student: How California School Policies Fail to Protect and Serve, provides some disturbing insights into how school districts use or misuse the police presence on campus, and how these efforts encourage the school-to-prison pipeline.
According the L.A. Times, many districts are facing scrutiny over their vague policies regarding when law enforcement is called in for petty infractions, when no imminent threat is occurring.
The report, which analyzes 119 districts, shows an alarming 9,540 school-related arrests occurred during the 2013-2014 school year. San Bernardino Unified School District police alone arrested more than 30,000 students between 2005 and 2014. Additionally, nearly 98 percent of districts in California do not require parental notification for student interrogations and 98.7 percent do not require officers to notify students of their Miranda rights, including their right to remain silent or self-incriminate before an arrest is even made.
However, some districts do have policies in place that protect students. L.A. Unified requires a warrant before a student is questioned. Other districts like San Francisco, Oakland, and Pasadena have an agreement with local law enforcement where they are not allowed to respond to calls that are not otherwise an emergency, forcing school administration to handle the situation. But these are
But the fact remains that the way officials choose to handle certain situations at schools is harmful to students, especially students of color. On average, Native Americans students are 3.4 times more likely and Black students are nearly three times more likely to be cited than their white peers. At Los Angeles Unified, the suspension rate for Black students was seven times high during the 2015-16 school year, and per capita arrest rates were 17 times that of white students.
Read the full ACLU report as well as their recommendations here.