The role of police officers in schools
November 3, 2015 – WHYY Radio Times
Guests: Kevin Bethel, Harold Jordan and Deborah Gordon Klehr
The nation was shocked by a recent video of a South Carolina sheriff’s deputy throwing a black high school girl to the floor and arresting her after she refused to leave the classroom. Since the late 1990’s, police officers have had a greater and routine presence in American schools. The result is a dramatic increase in student arrests and the rise of the disturbing trend called the school-to-prison pipeline. The effect has been profound among blacks and Latinos. This morning on Radio Times we explore the role of police officers in schools. Does their presence serve to remedy difficult situations or cause the escalation of conflict? We’ll talk with Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner KEVIN BETHEL, who works with the School District of Philadelphia and the juvenile justice system to keep students in school and out of court. He’ll be joined by education activist HAROLD JORDAN of the Pennsylvania ACLU, author of a recent report Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discipline and Policing in Pennsylvania Public Schools. We’ll also hear from DEBORAH GORDON KLEHR of the Education Law Center about the need for mandating training of school police officers.