Today, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc (LDF) submitted written testimony to the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee in support of House Bill (HB) 1089, the Police-Free Schools Act, which prohibits local school systems from contracting with law enforcement agencies or establishing their own police forces, and requires that security personnel be unarmed and not have arrest powers. The presence of law enforcement officers in schools has led to disparate and unnecessary arrests of youth of color, as well as youth being subjected to violence at the hands of law enforcement. LDF supports HB 1089 because it removes law enforcement officers from schools and funds local school systems to hire school psychologists, social workers, counselors, and behavioral specialists, to expand restorative approaches, provide wraparound services, and develop trauma-informed practices. Investments such as these are critical to creating positive school climates that provide the appropriate supports students need to thrive and to prevent the criminalization of youth.
Read the testimony here.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.