George Floyd

School Campus Police Force Cuts Come With Mixed Emotions

NBC Universal, Inc.

West Contra Costa Unified and Oakland Unified are making moves to eliminate school police from campuses, a movement sweeping the country following the death of George Floyd.

“We already know they have a problem with deescalating situations,” said Tamecia, one of the parents voicing her opinion on removing police officers from school campuses in West Contra Costa County. “If you patrolling in Pinole it should be a part of their patrol. Just to come by, check in.”

The district’s school board voting unanimously Wednesday to use $1.5 million used to pay for school resource officers and use that money to fund programs for African American students.

“It’s not just about the visibility of an officer on campus, it’s about services we need to give to the kids, are they getting the preventive mental health they need,” said WCCUSD President Stephanie Hernandez-Javis. This includes counseling, restorative justice and social emotional learning.

Oakland Unified is preparing to remove police from its schools. That means abolishing its internal police force and redirecting $2.5 million spent on sworn officer and security staff.

“Some of my friends have negative experience some positive experience. It comes down what school and what cop is there,” said former student Romey Joshi.

A nearly two-year long NBC Bay Area investigation into the use of school police officers uncovered a disturbing trend within the education system, captured the attention of top officials at the White House, and spurred security changes across dozens of schools – impacting tens of thousands of students.

The series of reports revealed schools across the country, including in the San Francisco Bay Area, call police on black students and children with disabilities at disproportionately higher rates than their peers. Read about and watch the investigation in its entirety here.

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