Today, President Obama announced his proposals in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. They contain many positive elements for addressing the root causes of violence in communities and also acknowledged the importance of positive interventions for ensuring school safety long advocated by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Unfortunately, the proposals also allow schools to use federal funding to increase the presence of police.
The use of security at schools has already been on the rise, and has brought many negative consequences without a proven record of increasing safety. Security guards and police in schools are being misused to ticket or even arrest children for misbehavior that is not in the least bit dangerous. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice sued officials in Meridian, Mississippi to stop their practice of arresting students for non-criminal behavior, such as violating a school dress code and talking back to teachers.