Weaponising US Schools

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$45m in order to add 356 new school resource officers (known as SROs) to public schools. This allotment represents a tripling of what was given to COPS in 2011 for school policing.

$1.875m to employ 15 new SROs, while at least one of its school districts will lose $750,000 that would have otherwise gone towards teachers' salaries and school maintenance.

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majority of Americans favour the creation of charter schools – while increased policing of children is sanctioned. Bill Finch, the mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut – whose city is the recipient of almost $2.25m from COPS – thanked the Department of Justice, remarking, "With these new SROs, the result will be safer schools and a better climate for education".

the six-year-old girl being hand-cuffed and taken away for having an emotional outburst grab headlines and deserve the public outcry they receive, just as disturbing but less visible is the insidious, widespread criminalisation of teenagers the proliferation of SROs has created.Research shows that, all else being equal, schools with an SRO on campus had nearly five times the rate of arrests for "disorderly conduct" – conduct that includes the usual gamut of fairly innocuous teenage behaviour: schoolyard fights, swearing in class or disobeying a teacher.

1,000 percent. In 2003, Teske initiated a laborious process to reduce contact between students and law enforcement, ultimately resulting in an 83 percent reduction in student referrals to juvenile court.

higher rate than their white counterparts. Indeed, Teske documented that 80 percent of all student referrals to his court were African-American.advice of the NRA proffered in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook killings that called for more guns in schools.

report intended to push privately owned charter schools as alternatives to the traditional public school system. The report quotes Albert Shanker, a controversial former leader of the teachers' union, writing in 1989: "It is time to admit that public education [is] a bureaucratic system where everybody's role is spelled out in advance, and there are few incentives for innovation and productivity. It's no surprise when a school system does not improve. It more resembles a Communist economy than our own market economy." font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";
mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Charlotte Silver is an independent journalist currently based in San Francisco. She has written for Inter Press Service, Truthout, The Electronic Intifada, Al Ahkbar and many other publications. 

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