ACLU Opposes Bill to Put Police Officers in Every School

February 28, 2013

 

Download the ACLU of Maryland testimony on SB 807

 

ADVISORY FOR

February 28, 2013

 

CONTACT: Meredith Curtis, Communications Director, 410-889-8555; media@aclu-md.org

Sara Love, Public Policy Director, 703-963-2710; love@aclu-md.org            

 

ANNAPOLIS - On February 28, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland will testify to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee in opposition to Senate Bill 807, which would require counties to contract with law enforcement to provide an officer in each elementary and secondary school.

 

While the rationale for having police in schools is to address serious and deadly violence, in fact virtually all school policing programs are significantly broader in scope. 

 

Numerous studies and anecdotal information show that a significant portion of police activity actually deals with garden-variety student misconduct, including many behaviors that do not seriously threaten school safety.  Students are being ticketed and even arrested for behaviors that were historically handled by educators as discipline issues - including everything from minor fights to drawing on desks to temper tantrums.

 

Statement of Sara Love, Public Policy Director, ACLU of Maryland: "The daily presence of school police officers winds up criminalizing students for mostly minor discipline issues that historically - and properly - were handled by educators. We can all agree about the importance of keeping students physically and emotionally safe, but putting police officers in schools does more harm than good."

 

WHAT: Hearing on SB 807 - Elementary and Secondary Education - Security

- School Resource Officers.

 

WHO:  Sara Love, Public Policy Director, ACLU of Maryland. Sara Love will be available for media interviews.

 

WHEN: Tuesday, February 28, 2013; hearing begins at 1 PM.

 

WHERE: Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Miller Senate Office Building, 11 Bladen St., Annapolis, MD.

 

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