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Schools Rethink Use of Police as Security Officers



Gun incidents on or around school campuses more often involve smaller altercations that escalate when someone has a gun at or near a school, a game or other event, as opposed to planned mass-shootings, and that fact is raising questions about the line between safety and second chances for kids caught in impulsive mistakes, reports the Associated Press. In response, some officials are rethinking the decision to cut ties with police while also holding fast to a widely held belief among educators — that connecting with students is the best way to build trust, identify threats and prevent tragedies.

Many schools nationwide have shifted to a restorative justice model, moving away from zero-tolerance policies, which often disproportionately affect students of color. The Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s K-12 school shooting database shows that active shooter incidents — when a shooter kills or wounds victims on campus during “a continuous episode of violence” — accounted for 11 of 430 shootings in and around schools from the start of 2021 through August 2022. Fights that escalate when someone has a gun accounted for 123 of those shootings.


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