Sao Paulo governor Turcio de Freitas (Republican) said he was considering deploying police officers after a 13-year-old student attacked five people with a knife at a state public school in the capital Sao Paulo this Monday (27). Permanently in schools.
“We are already studying ways to hire reserve police officers so that they can stay permanently in schools and help make the environment safer,” Freidas posted on social media this Monday (27). He had already anticipated the idea on Andrea Sadie’s blog.
In America, A government research firm reviewed dozens of studies published between 2000 and 2020 on school policing. Police presence does not increase safety in schools and does not prevent violent attacks.
A report by the National Institute of Justice, a research institute of the US Department of Justice, published in February last year indicated. Some of the deadliest shootings involved school-based policeCases like Parkland and Santa Fe in 2018, with 17 and 10 deaths, respectively.
This Monday (27), 7,800 km from Sao Paulo, a woman opened fire at a private school in Nashville, Tennessee, killing three children and three adults. According to the K-12 School Shooting Database, an independent online project, there have already been 89 shootings in the country this year.
The National Institute of Justice document highlights that there are only “anecdotal reports” of police officers who have prevented planned attacks, collected by the National Police Foundation.
“The challenge with using stories or anecdotes is that there is usually an example from each category that either side of the debate can use to make its case,” the report says.
Another survey from the University at Albany analyzed schools between 2014 and 2018 They concluded that police did not prevent mass shootings in schools and more serious incidents involving the use of firearms.
On the other hand, the University at Albany study indicated that police officers “protect students from a significant number of physical assaults and fights in schools — an effect that can produce long-term benefits, both academically and psychologically.” .
And yet, research suggests there is Police inside schools lead to more severe punishments against students, “especially black students, male students, and students with disabilities.”
Evidence gathered in a report by the National Institute of Justice goes in the same direction, indicating that police presence in schools is associated with some negative outcomes, such as “an increase in exclusionary punishments,” particularly for racial or ethnic minority students.
The report represents the most comprehensive review ever conducted, comparing schools with police and those without.. The results showed that schools without police had about 3% less crime and discipline problems than schools with police.
“This is not to say that there have been no reported positive impacts on school policing, but they have been fragmented and inconsistent,” says a document prepared to support the US Congress.
History and Finance
The first policing programs in schools in the United States were implemented in the 1950s, but gained popularity in 1999 after the Columbine massacre, which killed 13 people — and began receiving funding from the federal government.
The most common model is the “school resource officer” (SRO), officers usually assigned to a school by the local safety department. Police officers are said to be trained to operate in school environments and are generally allowed to carry firearms even inside schools.
In 2000, the US government invested US$68 million to employ 599 SROs in 289 communities across the country. Since then, state and municipal governments have invested an estimated $1 billion in school policing.
There is no national database on the number of such police officers in the United States. The National Association of SROs estimates that there are between 14,000 and 20,000 of them in service nationwide. In 2018, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that 42% of public schools had at least one permanent police officer.
For comparison purpose, A study by the nonprofit American Union for Civil Liberties found that 14 million American children and youth attend schools with police officers, but without counselors, psychologists, nurses or social workers.
According to the Justice Policy Institute, an NGO that works with juvenile and criminal justice systems in the United States, because serious crimes inside schools are relatively rare, police officers end up spending most of their time investigating minor incidents. Significant cost.
For these and other reasons, the organization recommends ending federal investment in policing programs.
“We believe that investment in police officers could be more effectively used in counselors and other alternatives,” says Jeremy Kittredge, a researcher at the Justice Policy Institute. g1 By email.
“That policy is already in place. In 2020, Portland voted to eliminate its school district’s police presence — saving the community $150,000. That money was reinvested in conflict prevention training for school staff,” says Kittredge. A large-scale effort will be funded with federal funding.
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