Did your kids attend a school where police officers patrolled the halls and engaged with the students? Local governments are reconsidering programs that place police in middle and high schools, often called SROs (school resource officers). Such programs often target Black and Brown kids at higher rates than White kids, and may expose them to unwarranted criminalization.
Alexandria and Arlington County have recently ended programs that place police in middle and high schools. [On October 14, the Alexandria City Council reversed itself to temporarily reauthorize its SRO program, after several violent incidents at the Alexandria City High School.] Montgomery County, MD has taken similar steps. If you would like to contact your representatives in Fairfax or Prince William Counties to urge similar action, SURJ NoVa provides suggested talking points.
The Justice Policy Institute, a research organization that “advances policies that promote well-being and justice for all people and communities,” has done research in this area. It has published a 2020 policy brief on SROs that provides useful data and footnotes to other research. In addition, The Advancement Project, a “next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization,” has published a report, We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools that provides information and context about the policing of our schools.