The Wake County Black Student Coalition, the Education Justice Alliance, the ACLU of North Carolina, and the Youth Justice Project of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice demand #CounselorsNotCops. In the first of a video series, these organizations join together to explain the need for police-free schools in Wake County.
Black students should feel safe and supported but in the Wake County Public Schools System (WCPSS), the police who are called school resource officers or SROs disproportionately criminalize Black children. Though research confirms that Black students do not misbehave at higher rates than their White peers, Black students are often targeted by Wake County SROs and funneled through the school-to-prison pipeline. Black students represented only 22% of WCPSS student enrollment in 2018-19 but were 73% of school-related complaints to the youth justice system.
The presence of SROs in schools is associated with increased referrals to law enforcement for minor, nonviolent infractions. SROs damage the mental health of Black and Latinx students by a culture of intimidation that includes demanding searches, asking for passes, and doing some of the same police brutality that we see officers do on the streets.
Following the brutal murder of George Floyd and Raleigh Police Department’s violent response to peaceful protestors, students and parents have renewed their demand for justice and police-free schools. Join our movement by sharing this #CounselorsNotCops video with Wake County School Board members. View their contact list in our Call to Action.