BerniePDX strongly opposes the Portland Public School Board’s decision to increase police presence in our public schools, and to spend $1.2 million of its limited funds per year on School Resource Officers (SROs). We call on the Portland City Council to refuse to confirm this decision.
Police presence in schools threatens the education, lives, safety, and futures of students of color and others who are profiled by police. We must stop the school-to-prison pipeline and end racial disparities in conviction and incarceration rates; SROs are not the way to achieve this.
Research shows that SROs bring plenty of consequences for students, including intimidation on campus (as described here), and higher rates of suspension, expulsion, and arrest. School counselors and social workers will better and more safely help at-risk youth or youth in crisis.
Despite Portland’s booming economy, our public schools are drastically underfunded. The school board should spend money on students and teachers, not police. BerniePDX will take this vote into account when considering future school board endorsements.
We encourage all Portlanders to read this thread of a Portland Metro student’s experience with the SRO at his school.