Study Reveals Police Arrest Mostly Minorities at Calif. Schools

OAKLAND, Calif. – The majority of the 20,000 California students that were arrested or ticketed in the 2009-2010 school year were minorities, according to a report released by the Community Rights Campaign (CRC) and the Black Organizing Project.

The report, titled “The New ‘Separate and Unequal’: Using California’s Local Control Funding Formula to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline” highlights the expansion in school police across the state. Currently, many districts employ more than 50 police officers who are assigned to handle routine school disciplinary matters, The Strategy Center reports.

In one school year, more than 30,000 students are often referred to the police, with officers arresting or ticketing at least 20,000 students. Of those arrested, 90% are youth of color, according to the report.

The study also mentions how California districts have used their budgets to increase security rather than adding on more support and educational services. For example, in 2011-12 there were at least 18 other districts across the state that spent more on school security than they did on counselors, psychologists, and social workers.

“These misplaced priorities have deepened the longstanding resource inequities faced by communities of color,” said Jackie Byers, director of the Black Organizing Project. “Resources that could have gone towards support staff, afterschool programs, and more effective disciplinary alternatives instead have gone towards school police, security guards, and surveillance cameras in many of our school districts, which serve mostly Black and Latino youth. In other words, an increasing percentage of the funds allocated to California’s low-income youth of color have been used in ways that have actively harmed them.”

For more information, read the complete “The New ‘Separate and Unequal’: Using California’s Local Control Funding Formula to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline” report.

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