GLSEN Condemns Police Violence in Schools
For Immediate Release: January 28, 2021
In response to the viral news that a Florida school officer slammed a student into the ground, GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard. and Deputy Executive Director Melanie Willingham-Jaggers issued the following joint statement on policing in schools:
“Enough is enough--police do not belong in schools. When we send our children to school, we entrust their safety and well-being to the care of educators and school staff, and this type of action from a school officer is a terrible violation of this trust and an abdication of responsibility by school leaders. No child’s behavior could ever warrant this kind of violent attack by an armed adult.
“Police violence in our schools is not an issue that can be addressed with training. Time and again, we see that training and reform are empty promises, and only the removal of police, including school resource officers, from schools can end police violence. Students need comprehensive support—not criminalization—when facing challenges in school, and we must divest from police and invest our education resources in school counselors and social workers, classroom materials and other programs that show students that we value their well-being.”
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state and local level. Since 1990, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and helped launch an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education.