Policing in Schools
The police presence in U.S. schools has grown from about 100 officers in the 1970s to 43,000 officers in schools today. In Minnesota, police are present in the majority of high schools and a fifth of elementary schools. Yet, they aren’t required to meet any statewide requirements for training, certification, or monitoring to work with youth. In fact, a 34% of the agencies placing police officers in schools don't require officers to meet any requirements at all.
SFERMN proposes the State of Minnesota adopt the following:
- A statewide training curriculum and certification for SROs.
- Clearly defined SRO roles, duties, and protocol.
- An emphasis on prevention and restorative justice.
- Monitoring and evaluation of SROs’ impact on students.
SFERMN members have been educating legislators about the need for oversight of policing working in schools.
Members have also been active in efforts to end the criminalization of youth - in schools and in the community.
How Prepared Officers Believed They Were to Be Working in Schools
- Having SROs in the schools often leads to criminalization of student behaviors that could be dealt with by school personnel.
- Schools with SROs have nearly 5 times the rate of arrests for disorderly conduct as schools without an SRO.
- Unnecessarily arresting youth hurts their education. Students who have contact with the courts are more likely to drop out of school.
- Half of the officers working in schools received less than 80 hours of training to work in schools.
- 21% of the officers received less than 40 hours of training.
- 92% of SROs in MN schools are white.
- 80% of SROs in MN are male.
- 99% of SROs say they enjoy working with youth.
- 75% chose the position. 25% were assigned.