What Happened to Jasmine Darwin?
State investigators are still looking into the case of a police officer who slammed a Rolesville High School student to the floor. While National attention has been placed on school policing since a nine-second video was posted on Twitter on Jan. 3 showing a Rolesville Police Officer picking up student Jasmine Darwin and dropping her to the floor. The Police Officer has been placed on PAID leave.
In response to the video, Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes organized a community meeting on the school-to-prison pipeline. She is interested in starting a conversation whether we should have school resource officers in our schools and, if we do, what should be their role.
Questions still exist about what happened at Rolesville High School.
An attorney for Darwin’s family says the student had been trying to break up a fight between two other girls when she was “slammed on the ground like a rag doll” and suffered a concussion.
The presence of police in schools has escalated dramatically in the last several decades, and the figures on arrests and referrals to law enforcement show disproportionate targeting of Black and Latino students. This is just one aspect of the school-to-prison pipeline, where some students are denied an opportunity to succeed, and instead are pushed out of school and into the juvenile or criminal justice system.
The Dignity in Schools Campaign has developed a set of policy recommendations for schools, districts, states and federal policy-makers to end the regular presence of law enforcement in schools.
SUMMARY OF COUNSELORS NOT COPS POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
The Dignity in Schools Campaign has developed the following recommendations for schools, districts, states and federal policy-makers:
1. End the Regular Presence of Law Enforcement in Schools
We are calling for removal of any law enforcement personnel assigned to be present on a regular basis in schools, including sworn officers (and unsworn if they are armed security), municipal police officers, school police officers, school resource officers (SROs), sheriff’s deputies, parole and probation officers, tribal officers, truancy officers, ICE officers or other immigration officials and armed security guards.
2. Create Safe Schools through Positive Safety and Discipline Measures
Instead, school staff trained to ensure safe and positive school climates, such as community intervention workers, peacebuilders, behavior interventionists, transformative or restorative justice coordinators, school aides, counselors and other support staff, can and do prevent and address safety concerns and conflicts. These staff monitor school entrances and ensure a welcoming environment, respond to the root causes of conflict and disruptive behaviors, prevent and intervene to stop intergroup and interethnic tension, and address students’ needs.
3. Restrict the Role of Law Enforcement that are Called in to Schools
On those rare occasions when it is appropriate for law enforcement to enter a school building, there should be agreements with police departments that limit the cases when law enforcement can be called in to a school, with particular safeguards in place to ensure students’ rights to education and dignity are protected, in addition to their constitutional rights to counsel and due process.
The Solutions Not Suspensions team is looking to bring visibility and credibility to these recommendations. If you have any suggestions or want to get involved, contact as at Campaign@empoweryouthnc.org.