I agree completely with the Fairfax County NAACP – see below for what the organization’s President, Kofi Annan, and Fairfax County NAACP Education Chair Sean Perryman – on this: 1) more police and more guns in schools are NOT the answers; 2) “dispensing School Resource Officers to intervene in disciplinary matters only serves to criminalize childhood issues and otherwise correctable adolescent behavior”; 3) there is a serious issue of “disproportionate punishment of Black and Latino students”; and 4) hiring more counsellors “with the appropriate tools to address the root causes of behavioral issues is in the best long-term interest of the students directly impacted.”
As for far-right Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz, who “has publicly advocated for ‘hardening schools’ with more cops and even considering arming teachers,” she needs to be defeated in November 2019 for a slew of reasons, including this one. In the meantime, let’s all tell Schultz what we think of her ideas on school security — not much!
There is an effort in the works to put more cops in FCPS – including expanding the program to elementary school – despite the mound of evidence that demonstrates that the SROs spend the overwhelming majority of their time involved in non-safety related administrative discipline issues that should be handled administratively; despite the fact that the MoU doesn’t grant parents the right to intervene on their kid’s behalf; and despite the fact that the data shows that minority kids are disproportionately targeted. Whether it’s ICE throwing kids in cages at the border, or right under our noses here in Fairfax, we must be clear and consistent about how we want kids to be treated.
On Thursday, July 12, the school board is having a public hearing on school security. Ms. Schultz has publicly advocated for “hardening schools” with more cops and even considering arming teachers. She is expected to bring out several people to testify in favor of these measures.
The deadline to register for testimony is July 11th. The website is showing it is already closed so she may have already stacked the room. [UPDATE: you can now register to testify by scrolling to “register to speak”: https://www.fcps.edu/school-board]
Fairfax County NAACP is asking that you do three things:
1. Write letters to your school board members opposing more cops in school and any additional guns in our schools;
2. Show up on July 12 at 5:30 pm at Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Rds, Falls Church) to show the community does not support these measures.
3. Testify in favor of having less guns in our schools.
4. And show up at the School Resource Officer Memorandum of Understanding Community Review Committee mtg on July 9th at 7pm at the Fairfax County Government Center, Rm 232