In Virginia and across the country, school policing unnecessarily criminalizes young people and disproportionately harms Black students. There is a positive correlation between the use of School Resource Officers (SROs) and school pushout, including suspension, expulsion, referral to law enforcement, and arrest. Meanwhile, there is no accepted research or evidence that SROs increase school safety—and many students, particularly students of color, share that the presence of SROs makes them feel less safe at school.
We must broaden our understanding of school safety and begin to envision vibrant community schools that are welcoming, safe, and healthy for all students and educators. A growing list of communities across Virginia and the nation are engaging in dialogue about the role of police in schools. This page provides resources to examine school policing and to begin meaningful conversations in local communities. For more information on divesting from law enforcement and investing in evidence-based student supports, including counselors, nurses, social workers, and support professionals, visit our Fund Our Schools campaign.