Some Schools Scaling Back Use of Police, Zero Tolerance Policies

schooling?The New York Times
on a trend at some public schools of scaling back
tough-on-crime, zero tolerance-like policies the paper says first
began to be implemented around the country in the 1990s as part of
the war on drugs.  The Times focuses on Broward
County, where:

the shift has shown immediate results, although it is
too early to predict overall success. School-based arrests have
dropped by 41 percent, and suspensions, which in 2011 added up to
87,000 out of 258,000 students, are down 66 percent from the same
period in 2012, school data shows.

Under the new agreement, students caught for the first time
committing any of 11 nonviolent misdemeanors are no longer arrested
and sent to court. Rather, they attend counseling and perform
community service.

The Times also notes the Obama
administration’s role:

Beginning in 2009, the Department of Justice and the
Department of Education aggressively began to encourage schools to
think twice before arresting and pushing children out of school. In
some cases, as in Meridian, Miss., the federal government has sued
to force change in schools.

Some view the shift as politically driven and worry that the
pendulum may swing too far in the other direction. Ken Trump, a
school security consultant, said that while existing policies are
at times misused by school staffs and officers, the policies mostly
work well, offering schools the right amount of

A school security consultant! And we have a problem with too
much school security? Supporters of the policy shift in Broward
county includes at least one judge who wants you to know he’s no
liberal. From the Times:

“We started to see the officers as a disciplinary
tool,” said Judge Elijah H. Williams of Broward County Circuit
Court, a juvenile judge who said he was “no flaming liberal” but
saw the need for change. “Somebody writes graffiti in a stall,
O.K., you’re under arrest. A person gets caught with a marijuana
cigarette, you’re under arrest.”

So they’ll still be arresting students for non-violent crimes.
School security consultants can breathe easy.

Scott Shackford noted efforts in LA to roll back the use of
police in schools there
last week
and the wider backlash against zero tolerance in
last year

More Reason on zero tolerance and
police in

from Hit & Run

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