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Beyond Policing Schools Toolkit

Published By

Urban Youth Collaborative & The Center for Popular Democracy
    Much of this toolkit is updated from a 2017 brief by the Urban Youth Collaborative and the Center for Popular Democracy: Policy Brief: Young People’s Vision for Safe, Supportive, and Inclusive Schools. It was adapted by CPD staffers Kate Hamaji with support from Eli Vitulli and Kate Terenzi.

    For more than three decades, Black and Brown young people, parents, educators, and communities have organized to dismantle the school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline—one of the most egregious examples of systemic racism and state sanctioned violence in our country. The school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline refers to the policies and practices that punish, isolate, marginalize, and deny access to supportive learning environments for Black, Brown, Latine, Indigenous, immigrant, and LGBTQ+ youth, as well as young people with disabilities, instead funneling them into the criminal legal system. For immigrants and undocumented young people, school push-out can result in detention and deportation.

    Each year, school districts—aided by states and the federal government—continue to funnel millions of dollars into policing and the criminalization of Black and Brown young people, while underinvesting in the very resources and supports that truly keep them safe. There is no substantial evidence that such practices make schools any safer.2 On the other hand, studies show that investments in counselors,3 mental health resources,4 and restorative justice5 contribute to school safety. In a 2021 national survey of more than 600 young people, respondents overwhelmingly valued more support and resources over school police, including increased funding for teachers, nurses, social workers, and mental health supports.