Youth of color will likely be most directly impacted by increased SROs. While no national data exists showing that SROs in particular arrest youth of color more than white youth, we do know that youth of color are disproportionately arrested overall. And in school-level analyses that have been done in places like East and West Hartford, Connecticut, Colorado, and South Carolina, students of color have been subject disproportionately to school arrests. See Education Under Arrest, part VI, for more details.
Additional funding to address youth violence should go through public health and school systems. The President is also calling for “1,000 new school resource officers and school based mental health professionals.” Any of this funding spent on school resource officers would be tax dollars wasted. Thousands of children with mental health problems continue to go untreated. Funding evidence-based and proven strategies, including more mental health professionals and programs like Social and Emotional Learning, would be positive investments.
The President’s recommendation to support evidence-based and proven strategies, including more mental health professionals and programs like Social and Emotional Learning, would be positive investments.
“We are glad the President is beginning to move, with these initiatives, towards improving school climate and discipline policies,” added Velázquez. “These are better ways to improve the safety and effectiveness of our schools for all children.”
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