Take Action Now: Tell your legislator to support SB21-071 to limit the use of juvenile detention and eliminate money bail for children.
On March 9, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Douglas County family whose 11-year-old son with autism, A.V., was handcuffed, restrained in the back of a police car for hours, injured, traumatized, and held on a $25,000 bond after an unnecessary School Resource Officer (SRO) response.
A.V. has autism and is sensitive to touch. After a student wrote on him with a marker, he became agitated but began to calm down with a school psychologist's help, but SROs in police uniform interfered and aggressively handcuffed him. The officers dragged a terrified child with a disability through the hallways of his school, placed him in a police car, and left him handcuffed there for hours. Neither his parents nor his teacher was allowed to comfort him while he cried in pain, "Stop! Stop! You're hurting me!"
"A.V. was – is – definitely traumatized. We all are," said his mother.
SB21-071 is a bill intended to limit the use of juvenile detention and eliminate money bail for children. It would help protect vulnerable children like A.V.
Across the U.S. and here in Colorado, students – particularly students of color and students with disabilities – experience significant harm at the hands of SROs under the guise of school safety. These experiences of excessive force and implicit bias inflict trauma on students and families for years to come, and swell the school-to-prison pipeline. A.V.'s SRO encounter is not an isolated incident. Countless families have shared similar experiences that illustrate the systemic failure of the legal system happening in our schools today.
Take action and urge your legislator to support SB21-071 to limit the use of juvenile detention and eliminate money bail for children. It's time to make it clear that in Colorado, there's no such thing as other people's children. In order to achieve real safety in our communities, we need to stop criminalizing our kids.
Your State Senator