Police in Schools

Portland Disbands School Police Program

Several other major cities across the country are considering similar moves as calls for national policing reform intensify.


School resource officers (SROs) will no longer patrol the halls of K–12 public schools in Portland, Oregon—the latest major city to announce, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, that it's pulling police out of schools.

Portland Mayor Tom Wheeler announced Thursday that the Portland Police Bureau would be disbanding its Youth Services Division and reassigning all its officers. "Leaders must listen and respond to [the] community," Wheeler tweeted.

Earlier this week, the Minneapolis school board voted unanimously to terminate its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department. HuffPost reports that other major cities are considering similar measures. The moves come amid nationwide protests and calls for police reforms following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis officer who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Several colleges have also cut ties with police departments.

Wheeler said $1 million will be taken from the police budget and used for a "community driven process." That money will fund counselors, social workers, and "culturally specific partnerships," Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero said.

The number of police in U.S. schools has increased dramatically over the past 50 years, often following school shootings. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union have made the case that putting more police in schools exacerbates the "school-to-prison pipeline," and that enforcement of petty disturbances disproportionately affects minorities.

"If black communities don't trust police on the streets, they shouldn't trust them in school hallways," Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project, which runs a national campaign to end school policing, told Ed Week. "We need to be thinking about alternatives to school safety so that children can feel safe and can learn in an environment that is safe for them to thrive. Police undercut that culture."

Scrutiny of SROs increased last September, when an Orlando school resource officer made national headlines for arresting a 6-year-old girl.

As it has for law enforcement at large, the proliferation of cell phone videos, policy body cameras, and social media has led to numerous viral incidents involving SROs. In February, a school resource officer at a high school in Camden, Arkansas, was relieved of duty after video showed him putting a student in a chokehold and lifting the student off of the ground. Last December, a North Carolina SRO was fired after he brutally body-slammed a middle-schooler. In November, a Broward County Sheriff's deputy in Florida was arrested and charged with child abuse after video showed him body-slamming a 15-year-old girl at a special needs school.

The National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) claims that carefully selected, well-trained SROs can actually decrease arrests by building good relationships within the school.

"There's a right and wrong way to do law enforcement in schools," says NASRO executive Mo Canady. "When it's done wrong, I can understand why someone might want to see it go away, but there are way too many opportunities to do it right and really make a difference in communities."

Some states, like Pennsylvania, require potential SROs to go through NASRO training, while others, like Florida, leave training requirements up to individual police departments.

Canady noted that the Minneapolis Police Department had never sent its officers to NASRO for training. But NASRO has trained Portland school resource officers, and Canady says the city's decision caught him off guard.

"They're actually a model agency in how they do SRO work," Canady says. "This is the first I've heard that there are concerns or potential problems there, so that comes as a shock."

Activists are calling for SROs to be discontinued in other cities, such as Chicago, Seattle, and Denver.

NEXT: A Few Days of Riots Can Echo for Many Years

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  1. Whenever there are problems you just know Broward County will be mentioned.

    1. Well, silver linings and all that.

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    2. Florida Man is sometimes a cop.

  2. Yeah I’m OK with dumping SROs. But then we get

    “Wheeler said $1 million will be taken from the police budget and used for a “community driven process.” That money will fund counselors, social workers, and “culturally specific partnerships,”

    That’s a whole lot of weasel words. How about giving the taxpayers their money back?

    1. “How about giving the taxpayers their money back?”

      Better yet- not taking it in the first place.

      1. “You didn’t (earn) that!”

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    2. The bottom line is they will be cutting the police department and using the money to pay off leftists. The plan is to eliminate police departments in these cities altogether. That is what the far left wants, though that plan is so crazy I am not even sure Portland would go for it. Instead, they will do everything they can to effectively eliminate police departments and leave the public at the mercy of the criminal element. If someone breaks into your home, the plan is to send a social worker. I am not kidding. If someone steals something from you, the plan is to tell you too fucking bad.

      But hey, they want to make up for all that by making it illegal for you to own a gun and prosecuting anyone who uses a gun in self defense. The left wants you to be a victim. They want you to be terrorized because a terrorized, disarmed public is easier to rule.

      1. The only thing wrong in your missive is that if someone steals from you, it won’t be because your stuff is yours, it’ll be because you’re racist and have deprived them of those things. Other than that, you are absolutely dead on.

      2. Practically speaking, thefts of most sorts are so rarely solved, let alone thwarted, by police, I’m not sure it matters. What do you envision: A crew of burglars show up like contractors, break in in the morning and camp all day cleaning you out into their truck(s), and nobody can stop them? Yeah, I guess in that case, something like police would be a helpful deterrent. But anything short of that, it hardly pays to have police for.

        1. So then vote to defund the police and get rid of them in your city. And then unlock the door as you go to sleep at night. “They can’t prevent break ins anyways, yawn”

          The police do not appear like batman to confront every evil as it lurks, and they certainly shouldn’t function as a surveillance state to increase their deterrence capability. The police are structures set in place so society can function with a modicum of normalcy. Can you name a one modernized nation without police?

          No, the police can’t thwart most theft. But the insurance adjuster might be reluctant to appear in towns in post Floyd era if the police cease to exist there.

          1. Given that break-ins are most often targets of opportunity, locking the front door *will* prevent most break-ins.

            1. And “no deterrent” (be it justice, police, lock or gun) = “opportunity”. I cannot believe I have to even say it.

      3. You’re full of shit John. ‘Defunding’ police is precisely about eliminating police department funding and authority for all the petty hassling stuff that they do. Rousting the homeless and the mentally ill. The traffic stops and the school arrests. The entire ‘broken windows’ theory of policing that led to the highest incarceration rate, by far, in the world – including the Cubas and Irans and such with overtly political prisoners. The sort of stuff that a militarized police force has proven incompetent and overbearing and racist about. The sort of stuff that you would not ever remotely call in the military itself for – so why give a ton of money to militarized police to get overtime and other teat-sucking, when it is precisely their unions that have resisted all attempts at both reform and accountability.

        There have been a couple of good articles here re the problems of getting from here to there – asset forfeiture, the dependence of cities on ‘hassling’ revenue streams, the broader issue of public unions as well as how those alternatives will actually be made to work better. But it’s very obvious that the only way to reform the police is to hit them where it hurts. In their wallet. And it’s about time that step was taken.

    3. Hear, Hear

    4. They could throw that million in a bonfire and it would still save tax payers millions from all the bullshit the campus cops pull that result in lawsuits paid out with taxpayer money.

  3. Here is the article that will not appear after all this is actually implemented:

    1. “Oh, very well. You can throw rubber bullets at some people.”

    2. Idiocy, hyperbole, and idealized victim-hood. Sounds familiar.

      Same coin, same handbook, both sides yada yada.

      Comment section still filled with bootlickers who think their opposition to taxes makes them libertarian.

    3. I didn’t read the whole thing, but the first thing that came to mind was Dollar Bill slowly being strangled by his cape in the revolving door until a robber put him out of his misery with a bullet.

  4. Wheeler announced Thursday that the Portland Police Bureau would be disbanding its Youth Services Division …


    … and reassigning all its officers.


    1. Right after the next Columbine.

      1. Where they saved the day!

  5. Having been born shortly before Gagarin launched makes me an official “old fart”. I never understood having cops in a school, nor got the newspeak “school resource officer”. If you stepped too far out of line too often, you simply didn’t come back the next fall. Simple and effective.

    Next subject?

    1. And then you get sued for (insert grievance here) because the parents will say their kid is being discriminated against.

      1. Yea, SROs definitely solved the “get sued” problem for schools… by adding another party to the lawsuit.
        Oh wait by schools I meant lawyers.

  6. Reason #10,351 why vouchers would benefit education. Behavior problem? Refund unused voucher amount and jettison the individual. He can go back to the government school, where he was before the for-profit accepted him.

    1. But the same leftists who are trying to dismantle the police are the same ones who hate vouchers with the burning heat of a million suns.

      1. Black and Hispanics favor vouchers by a majority, people who can afford to send their kids to private schools hate vouchers.

        1. Karens know better.

        2. Got a link on blacks and hispanics favoring vouchers? I’d like to add it to my archive.

      2. That’s because it’s about power. If you let families use their own money, make their own decisions than you no longer have power over them.
        The left’s view really is quite similar to Lenin’s maxim of “Kto kego” or “Who to whom?” Who has the power and whom is it being used against.
        The right has similar problems but at least they believe in a civil society, a public sphere where the state must stay away from. To the left, everything is politics and power.

  7. Wheeler said $1 million will be taken from the police budget
    Yay! No more tossing money in a hole!

    and used for a “community driven process.” That money will fund counselors, social workers,
    Oh, you’re going to toss it in a different hole.

    and “culturally specific partnerships,”
    …and shit on it apparently.

  8. So after two Buffalo police officers pushed over an old man and then filed a report saying he tripped, they were suspended. So the ENTIRE police Emergency Response Team (basically riot cops?) resigned in protest. https://tinyurl.com/y8a5aogn

    Fare-fucking-well. If you can’t handle the fact that pushing around senior citizens and then lying in your reports is a bad act, go get a real fucking job.

    1. Did you see the video? They asked the guy to move and he said “you are going to have to move me”. And they did. There are plenty of things to complain about the police doing but this isn’t it. They guy in so many words asked them to push him aside.

      1. You’re gonna need to show me more than the video I’ve been able to find of the incident. It looks like they engaged with him for about 2 seconds before they started shoving. God forbid you actually have to speak with and handle the public in a public-facing job.

        And seriously, what’s the threat? A group of 50 armored and healthy officers can’t walk around an elderly gentleman?

        1. He was standing in front of them blocking them from moving. It was a passive resistance thing. He wanted them to push him. They asked him to move. They didn’t just run him over. The guy was a total asshole and refused to move and they shoved him aside. The whole thing is the old man’s fault.

          1. That’s a bit of an extreme stance you’re taking that it’s ALL the old man’s fault. Police actually did not have to push him. If their orders were to be stormtroopers clearing the area at all costs, it sounds like they collectively resigned about 2 days too late.

            And in fact, they may have a point with their collective resignation. That is, “This is what you guys told us to do.” I still believe in little things like personal accountability, so simply being told to shove elderly people out of the way doesn’t remove guilt from the people who injure old people by doing it, but it’s still good to point out that a lot of shitty policing is the direct result of shitty policies and shitty laws.

            1. I am a believer in personal responsibility too. If grandpa wants to go down into a chaotic situation and stand in front of cops trying to keep them from doing their jobs, I really couldn’t care less if they push him out of the way.

              Also, standing in front of EMTs, cops, and fire trucks to keep them from responding to riots is a common tactic used by these demonstrators. Fuck that guy. Really, don’t go down and start confrontations and make things worse and that is all he was doing.

              1. If you’re a believer in personal responsibility, then you must hate the cops who wrote a report that included the fact that someone tripped and fell, but neglected to include “In the immediate aftermath of us having shoved him out of the way.”

                So yes, this old man is an asshole. The cops are assholes too, but they’re assholes with the authority of the state behind them.

                1. Do you have a link to the report?

              2. That old man was blocking the police about as much as Tienanmen Square Guy was blocking the tanks.

                But yea you’re right, how could they let this dude get in the way of the officers’ jobs? The 1st Amendment is conditional, the state coffers must be fed, the people cowed. Only then, will order triumph. Officers got home safe so everything is fine. Report any grievances to the local police union, they will take it seriously and act appropriately.

              3. Yea the old guy was being an asshole and they needed to get him out of the way.
                But he was clearly elderly and frail. They clearly used excessive force with the shove.
                There are ways to move someone like that without giving them a full force shove to the chest

                1. “and they needed to get him out of the way.”

                  No they didn’t need to get him out of the way. The could have easily gone around him.

          2. It was one old man and there was no one else there except cops. So what’s the reason the cops couldn’t just go around him?

            1. He didn’t respect their authority, so they had to use force. It’s in the handbook.

      2. Why did they need him to move instead of just going around him?

        1. Or just turn him around and handcuff him and send him to the rear.

          Or have a couple of cops grab him by his elbows and escort him away.

      3. What you are really saying John is that there is no circumstance which DOESN’T justify force by the police. I suppose I could see you waffle a bit if instead of a 75 year old it was a toddler who was being obstinate and throwing a tantrum. But I’m sure like any good R, you could find reasons to topple them too.

    2. Sadly, they resigned from the Emergency Response Team, but not from the police force. But people quitting the armored goon squad is better than having an armored goon squad.

  9. What does it mean when you hate both the cops and BLM?. I honestly hope they all kill each other and the rest of us can get on with life.

    1. That’s not going to happen.

      So while we’re wish for things that won’t happen, I hope BLM drops the communist manifesto they’re using for a platform and starts talking about Civil Asset Forfeiture, the Drug War, and police training programs than think every officer is working in Fallujah. And I hope police start to realize that many of their coworkers are raging assholes that they should stop covering for, and start asking for them to become truly accountable to the public.

      1. There are a number of reforms that would make policing in this country more effective and more just and improve the situation greatly. BLM lists none of those reforms in it’s platform. BLM doesn’t want to fix the problem. Quite the opposite, BLM wants the problem to get worse because it sees the problem as a means to advance leftist politics.

        1. Bingo!!

          Race hustlers need racial tensions to be important ‘leaders.’

          1. Munchausen by proxy as political policy

    2. This is basically what I’ve been formulating in my mind as we go through this. I ask some hypothetical ‘average African American’ “OK, so what do you want?”
      Cops taken down a notch. Agreed.
      What else?
      And there it ends.
      Something is missing here. The only answer that I can think of to “what else” is either affirmative action or reparations. The rest of the “social justice” noise should simply bring the response, fine, so move someplace where there is more /less of whatever it is you find unpleasant. No one is stopping you. And btw, no one is going to pay for your move either. I’m as white as they come, and it was made very clear to me at a young age that ‘the world does not owe you a living’. Sorry, but that’s what this sounds like once you clear out the “qualified immunity” problem.

  10. As a libertarian I have no issue with woke cities disbanding police or for that matter whatever they want to do. Honestly we need to stop blathering about school choice and empowerment zones. The majority of the folks in large cities don’t want that kind of change. Many work for the govt or some govt funded program, they just want more funding like any other govt contractor. Their norms and morals are such that a liberty agenda will be rejected. So let Portland be Portland..let Seattle be Seattle..let NYC be NYC..as long as you freedom of movement in this country vote with your feet..you all think these urban folks think like you do..they don’t. Shut down the police..if that is what they want to do. Hell maybe they will end the drug war which would be a good thing..

    1. I agree with you in a lot of ways. The problem is that the effects of these policies don’t stay in the cities. They spill over into the communities around them. Also, these policies violate the rights of the people in these communities. Governments should not be able to refuse to enforce the law and maintain order. Worse, these cities have policies that make it hard or impossible for their citizens to defend themselves against criminals. If we had a universal castle doctrine that made it a human right to use deadly force in defense of your home or business and few or no gun control laws, I would be a lot less concerned about this. Sadly, these cities’ laws are just the opposite and as unwilling as they are to prosecute actual criminals, they are just that willing to prosecute citizens defending themselves against criminals.

      1. You realize when the police response is less heavy handed, the amount of rioting and looting dwindles? The cops are out there bashing the heads of the protestors, while ignoring the looters. Wouldn’t want anyone (cops) to not make it home safe.

        But more importantly to the article, you’re bitching about the dismissal of SROs who primarily cost cities a bunch of money in lawsuits from said officers slamming kids heads into concrete. Such a great service to the nation, if only we could honor them more.

        1. Right. Get the SROs out and arm all the teachers!

    2. Their [progressive] norms and morals are such that a liberty agenda will be rejected. So let Portland be Portland..let Seattle be Seattle..let NYC be NYC..as long as you freedom of movement in this country vote with your feet..you all think these urban folks think like you do..they don’t.

      I am good with this. And internalized it. As a result of what has happened in the People’s Progressive Republic of NJ, I am going to leave. It will be a process that unfolds over the next 2-3 years, but I’m done. These progressive idiots are destroying everything we struggled to build (monetarily), and destroying our values as well (morally). My response: Peace Out. You can have it.

      1. I would feel better about support local communities to do whatever they want, even to the point of contradicting basic Constitutional principals and recognized fundamental American values, if we could also guarantee that such bizarre politics would remain quarantined in those utopian enclaves. And that the bills to pay for their idealistic (and likely failing) programs would also stay within their boundaries.

  11. “Governments should not be able to refuse to enforce the law and maintain order.”

    How can we have anarcho-tyranny if governments must enforce the laws and maintain public order?

    1. Anarcho-tyranny is an oxymoron.

      1. no shit

      2. Is mob rule anarchist and yet tyrannical? I think so.

  12. Literally doing anything to avoid school choice…

    1. BINGO!!! “school choice”…. It’s amazing how free “choice” gets entirely forgotten about as an option once the “communism” starts.

  13. “School resource officers (SROs) will no longer patrol the halls of K–12 public schools in Portland, Oregon”

    And in other news, potential school shooters flock to Portland, Oregon.

  14. Look, we all can accept the progressive truism that police cause crime (not the crime that some boys in blue commit, but crime wrongly blamed on The People). The proof is simple: no cops means no arrests, therefore no crime.

  15. Who needs police attached to schools? You got a problem, you call “the police” like anybody else.

    1. The problem is mass school shootings.
      There’s someone in the school with a gun, they can stop the shooting after the first shot.
      If you have to call 911 there is a delay of at least a few minutes.
      That gives a homicidal maniac plenty of time to kill lots of kids even if he’s armed with a couple of revolvers.

      1. How did that work out in FL?

      2. So you’re saying the problem is an extremely rare event, for which the solution doesn’t even have a great chance of working. How many cops in schools have ended a school shooting in progress?

        1. Good question; How many school shootings have occurred while an armed cop was in the school? If memory serves correctly I can think of one article about an armed teacher taking out a shooter already.

  16. “There’s a right and wrong way to do law enforcement in schools,” says NASRO executive Mo Canady.

    Yes. The right way is to have zero cops patrolling a school and if there’s a need for law enforcement, you call the cops. Otherwise, some school administrator should handle things.

  17. I suggest we keep the police in the schools.

    It is the children that need kicked out, either home schooling or private.

  18. And who brought the cops in to schools in the first place? Why do schools have metal detectors? Why is Chicago paying “volunteers” to walk public school kids to school so they don’t get shot. Let’s get rid of the cops. cops causing looting and arson.

    1. As someone else has already brought up – “School Choice”. If it wasn’t all communised; ALL/EVERYONE’S prefered options would exist.

  19. These sros are the cops who are too dumb, fat or lazy to be real cops.

    1. Don’t forget the pedophiles.

  20. Not surprising since Portlands mayor is the local leader of Antifa.

  21. Wait, didn’t the Libtards demand police in the schools because of the shootings and other violence? Black people don’t trusts the police? Really? All of them. Then why are there so many Black people in Law Enforcement? How about all those poor people who call because of the violence in their neighborhood?

  22. Deserves a repeat;
    Sheldonius Rex
    June.6.2020 at 8:16 am

    Literally doing anything to avoid school choice…

    Why do we have to argue about cops or no cops in school?? Why isn’t there an option for both???

    What’s next; Division, Riots, and Looting about if ALL restaurants carry Coke or Pepsi products too? Communism isn’t peaceful at all; it’s downright genocide so stop supporting it and demand the individual freedom the country was founded upon.

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