Students of colour have pushed back on the idea that there needs to be a greater police presence in schools following the Uvalde mass shooting that saw 19 students killed.
Despite Republican Senators claiming that increasing law enforcement on campuses is a way to prevent massacres, many students say this isn’t the answer.
Wake County Black Student Coalition co-President and high school student Malika Mobley believes increasing officers at schools would lead Black students to feel unsafe and isolated.
She recalled seeing a police officer detain a visibly upset student while being pushed into a cop vehicle, according to AP News.
Mobley said: “They were crying, ‘Why are you doing this to me? I didn’t do anything'. I was just forced to stand there and couldn’t do anything.”
Since 2020, Mobley’s student initiative has advocated for the decreasing police at schools due to the emotional impact it has on students of colour.
“We don’t see police presence as part of the solution,” she said.
“If you really think about why police don’t make us safer, you can draw connections to all types of tragedies that impact the most marginalised among us.”
In the wake of the Robb Elementary mass shooting, Senator Ted Cruz told reporters at the Capitol that ‘armed law enforcement’ is the most ‘effective way’ to prevent students, according to the New York Times.
He also pointed the finger toward Democrats using their own ‘political agenda’ when speaking about mass shootings and rebuked the suggestion of gun law reform.
“If you look to the past, we know what is effective, and it is targeting the felons and fugitives and the bad guys,” he said.
“But as sure as night follows day, you can bet there are going to be Democrat politicians looking to advance their own political agenda rather than to work to stop this kind of horrific violence and to keep everyone safe.”
However, many experts have rejected Cruz’s theory.
Executive director of the Children’s Defence Fund of Texas Patrick Bresette told NBC News that rather than directing ‘millions’ of dollars towards law enforcement, those funds should be invested in mental health support for students.
He said: “The research is clear that more police and hardening schools doesn’t work.
“The millions and millions of dollars we’re spending on more law enforcement is at the cost of more effective ways to help kids; to provide mental health support, to identify someone who might be at risk of some sort of bad behaviour, and to have a holistic response in schools.
“It’s following the evidence. There are ways to prevent this that we’re not investing in.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy.
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