Amidst the larger debate about funding for law enforcement, Data for Progress and The Justice Collaborative conducted a national survey to examine attitudes toward police presence in schools. Programs that keep “school resource officers” in schools are prohibitively expensive, running into the millions of dollars, and have not prevented a single school shooting.
Officers’ presence in schools doesn’t just exacerbate racialized trauma—it increases the likelihood that students will be criminalized, sent to court instead of the principal’s office for minor infractions. This is especially true for Black and brown students, who make up 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referred to law enforcement from schools. Although they make up just 12 percent of the student population, Black students are 2.3 times more likely to be arrested in school or sent on to law enforcement.