In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protests exploded across the country, and got the attention of an out-of-work population (and the entire world) for all of June 2020. Predictably, quite a few political positions were taken during all of this that would have been seen as unthinkable even as soon as four months prior – the most famous of which being to “abolish the police.” The fact that this position kept on being pushed despite most of the public being aghast at the idea was a sign that we were in uncharted territory in the United States when it came to political opinions and divisions, and that extremism was becoming more mainstream.
Since straight abolition of all police forces in all cities across the United States is not going to get strong support anytime soon, activists have decided to go after lower hanging fruit: police presence in schools. In schools all across America, it is not uncommon to see officers in schools (usually heaviest in urban schools, and even a number suburban schools have them). They generally deal with situations like theft, fights, and drug use. This is criticized by activists, who claim that police presence in schools results in faster suspensions, expulsions, and criminal convictions for minority students who get into any trouble. (This is usually called the “school-to-prison pipeline” by activists.)
Activists, when talking about this, often get caught in a chicken-and-egg logic trap when it comes to juveniles and crime. Does police presence lead to higher levels of crime in urban high schools, or do high levels of crime in urban high schools lead to that police presence? It is almost always the latter, and leaving this unchecked will likely result in the crime worsening and these schools becoming even more dangerous for students and teachers, let alone how it will affect the quality of education for any innocent bystanders..
Police presence in schools is a sad reality, and can be an unpleasant one to acknowledge. However, to take advantage of the Floyd protests to promote an ill-thought-out extremist agenda is the worst kind of manipulative behavior, and shows that activists only care about moving their agenda forward for bragging rights – they don’t care about the results of any of that. This is a profoundly dangerous issue to play around with when thousands of young lives hang in the balance.