On the one hand, of course we need police — in schools as elsewhere. Eliminating them, especially without significant study and clear alternative plans, is reckless.
There are, after all, millions of incidents of drug use, theft, fights, gang activity, sexual assault and weapons possession each year in public schools around the country. Not to mention the infrequent but horrifying school shootings that plague the country. Police are not the root of the problem, and they need to be part of the solution.
But we shouldn’t revert to business as usual.
No reasonable person should want to see one more cop than necessary in a school. Police presence sends a message to students that they are suspected criminals, and need to be surveilled, controlled and disciplined.
Furthermore, by many accounts, school police have a tendency to criminalize nonviolent, run-of-the mill misbehavior.