End the criminalization of Black and Brown students by calling on your member of Congress to support the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act
Black girls are arrested at 4 times the rate of white girls? Instead of affirming their right to learn in a safe space, too often school environments have police officers on site and perpetuate the criminalization of young people of color and youth with marginalized identities who are more vulnerable to arrest and overly punitive discipline practices. In response, we need fewer police and more trauma-informed mental health professionals in school.
Fourteen million students are in schools with police but no counselor, nurse, psychologist, or social worker (ACLU). Given the overwhelming trauma and loss students are facing from both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing racial unrest in cities across the U.S., their behavior and adjustments to school need to be seen through a trauma-informed lens. Schools need professionals who can properly respond to and understand, for example, that what is considered “acting out” may actually reflect other issues like racial trauma, a learning difference, sexual harassment, or difficulty at home. We must stop criminalizing youth and instead be prepared to provide them a more comprehensive, person-centered level of support.
Evidence shows that the presence of police in schools tends to contribute to the school-to-prison-pipeline rather than to safer educational environments. The Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act would decrease the number of arrests in schools and help schools hire more counselors, social workers, nurses, and other health professionals.
Take action today:Tell your Member of Congress to support the Counseling Not Criminalization in Schools Act, to keep students in school and meaningfully supported with trauma-informed mental health support!