Remove Armed Cops From Our Schools
Vermont's children need more support from trained counselors and mental health professionals, not policing. The presence of armed cops in schools leads to an increase in student referrals, arrests, and convictions, even for low-level offenses. Police in schools disproportionately impact students of color, students with disabilities, and low-income students. We must end the use of police in schools and invest in educational support services.
- Nationally, schools with police reported 3.5 times as many arrests as schools without police. As a result, students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionately criminalized.
- In Vermont, Black students had an arrest rate of 38 per 10,000 students which was 5.4 times higher that of white peers.
- While Black students only make up 3% of the Vermont student population, they represent 13% of school arrests and 9% of referrals.
- While students with disabilities make up 13% of the Vermont student population, they make up 36% of school arrests and 37% of referrals.
- Students with disabilities in Vermont were arrested at a rate 20 per 10,000 students, nearly two times higher than their peers without disabilities. Students with disabilities in Vermont are two times more likely to be referred to law enforcement in comparison to students without disabilities.
- According to the U.S. Department of Education CRDC, Black boys with disabilities in Vermont face the highest overall arrest rate when considering race, gender, and disability status of 134 per 10,000 students.
- Black girls in Vermont experience school arrests the most disproportionately. Black girls in Vermont are five times as likely to be arrested in school than white girls because Black girls are arrested at rates of 20 per 10,000 students while white girls are arrested at rates of 4 per 10,000 students. Although Black girls make up 3% of the girls enrolled in Vermont, they comprise 13% of the girls arrested.
No data indicates that police in schools improve either the students' mental health, educational outcomes, or their safety; in fact, in many cases, they are causing harm. There is no conclusive evidence to support that school policing measures actually make schools, or students, safer.
Highlighting the intersectionality of race, gender, and disability in student criminalization is imperative in understanding the inequalities in school arrests and referrals because they intensify when the data is disaggregated even further.
Students need quality counselors, not armed cops.
That's why we are calling on the Legislature to pass S.63 to remove police from our schools. Please use the form below to send a message to your senator(s) asking them to support S.63, a bill that would prohibit any new contracts for school resource officers in Vermont's schools.
The form is editable so we hope you will take the time to personalize your message and share why you believe police should not be in our schools.