Written by Nicholas Vetrisek
The California Department of Education is reviewing the role of police on school campuses. They are doing so in response to the recent George Floyd protests and the rampant anti-police sentiment that resulted from it. State Superintendent Tony Thurmond has said that his office was working to “re-imagine” the role of police on campus, but conceded that some schools will still require police to protect students.
“As a former school board member, I spent four years working very closely with school resource officers,” Thurmond said. “But I’ve already seen data that shows when there’s police on campus, this results in more suspensions and arrests, particularly for African American students and other students of color.”
That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone whatsoever. When there are police to arrest people, people get arrested. This is not to say that police are the cause, they are simply the only ones able to do anything about it. The schools did not have crime-free student bodies before the police came and it was likely worse prior to police presence. It’s just that students are now getting caught for unlawful behavior.
Another point that local activists are bringing up is the fact that 66 percent of San Diego Unified School District students involved in incidents with campus police were African-American or Hispanic. Again, this number isn’t very surprising or concerning given that 57 percent of SDUSD students are African-American or Hispanic. Likewise, it’s not entirely clear why despite being 13% of the American population, African-Americans commit over half of the violent crime, but that’s just the data as it is.
Another major flaw in the activists’ thinking is what they will replace the abolished police with. They hope to replace police with mental health professionals, social workers, and counselors. This is a pipe dream, to put it mildly. Activists like to preach “mental health” for dealing with crime when they don’t seem to realize that it’s often just a buzzword. Mental health and therapy are not just magical cures that end crime. You can’t just send Jordan Peterson to Logan Heights and turn it into Coronado.
Rehabilitation is not always effective and some people need to be arrested for the crimes they commit. Believe it or not, when criminals are locked up, crime tends to go down. Whether activists like it or not, campus police provide a great service by ensuring that criminals get arrested and don’t prevent students from learning.