The National Campaign for Police Free Schools
The National Campaign for Police Free Schools is a formation of youth-led grassroots organizations fighting to end the criminalization of youth in the classroom, create liberatory educational spaces, and implement an affirmative vision of safety and transformative justice. As modern-day abolitionists, we believe in and organize for a world without prisons or police.
School policing is inextricably linked to this country’s long history of oppressing and criminalizing Black and Brown people and represents a belief that people of color need to be controlled and intimidated. Historically, school police have acted as agents of the state to suppress student organizing and movement building, and to maintain the status quo.
Today, students of color are more likely to attend schools with police, but no school counselors — and are more likely to attend schools with other forms of policing: metal detectors, locked gates, security cameras, random sweeps, and surveillance technology like facial recognition and social media monitoring.
School policing in all of its forms reflects a continued effort to control, oppress, and criminalize Black and Brown youth and deny their safety, humanity, and opportunity to learn.
Police do not keep us safe, from our schools to our communities, and officers that roam school hallways are no different from the officers on the streets. Every dollar spent on police, metal detectors and surveillance cameras is a dollar that could instead be invested in educators, counselors, restorative and transformative justice practices, and health professionals that support, uplift, and honor, not police and criminalize, children.
Strategy focuses on eliminating laws, statutes and school policies that criminalize students.
Strategy is intended to make the use of police officers in schools an instrument of last resort, if at all.
Divest | Invest:
Strategy focuses on identifying exactly how much is spent on school policing and demanding that those funds be divested from policing and criminalization and invested in student supports (counselors, social workers, health professionals, restorative justice, etc.)
Demilitarize | Disarm:
Strategy focuses on removing weapons from school police officers, ending districts’ participation in the Federal 1033 Program, removing metal detectors and surveillance technology, and disarming school staff.
Strategy focuses on exposing the false narrative that we need policing in our communities.
All of the above strategies mount a dismantle strategy. It takes a multi-prong approach to end the relationship between school districts and police departments, to eliminate school police departments, and to shrink the scope and power of police.