Brookings: Framing a Legislative Agenda to Achieve Meaningful School Safety, Policing Reform

Originally published by Brookings on June 25, 2020

The use of deadly force by police on unarmed Black Americans has led to civil unrest and political pressure to enact comprehensive police reform. Given racial disparities, debates are also raging about the necessity and usage of school resource officers (SROs).

Data from the Civil Rights Data Collection show that Black students are disproportionately restrained, both mechanically (using devices or equipment) and physically, relative to their percentage of total enrollment. Accordingly, these disparities elevate SRO concerns, among other safety issues.

We recently released a policy brief that proposes tangible legislative actions that can occur at federal, state, and local levels. Given the complexity of school safety, we underscore the need for a legislative agenda, not a one-time “kitchen sink” bill to achieve meaningful reform. Below, we summarize our recommendations. >> Read More

Meredith Anderson, Ph.D. is a senior research associate in the K-12 Advocacy Department and Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute at UNCF, where she leads and designs empirical research related to K-12 education reform for African American students.

Kenneth Alonzo Anderson is professor and associate dean at Howard University.