WASHINGTON — Yesterday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and several other members of Congress re-introduced the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act – legislation that would invest in safe and nurturing school climates that support all students and address the over-policing of our nation’s K-12 schools.
The following statement is by Bacardi Jackson, managing attorney for the SPLC Action Fund:
“The SPLC Action Fund is proud to support the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act because students deserve a safe and supportive environment to learn and grow. Far too many schools are lacking the counselors and support they need to thrive. Through this important piece of legislation, school districts have an opportunity to end their overreliance on police in our schools and embrace more humane, effective and evidence-based approaches to meet student’s needs.
“School policing puts children, particular Black and brown students and students with disabilities, at risk of harm. There is no evidence suggesting that students, teachers and staff are safer with police patrolling their hallways. The drastic increase of police presence in our schools has meant that students are more likely to interact with law enforcement at school than a nurse, social worker or school psychologist. This, predictably, has led to unprecedented increases in school arrests and physical assaults against Black students.
“We urge Congress to end the criminalization of our children and, instead, direct our public resources toward creating a humane and just school environment by passing this crucial bill.”