Press Releases


Washington, DC- On September 21, the Dignity in School Campaign (DSC) and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. – in collaboration with Representative G.K. Butterfield and Senator Chris Murphy – will host two congressional briefings to examine the role of police in schools. The briefings will feature personal stories from students and parents about interactions with school police, research and data on the role of police in schools, examples of best practices for creating positive school climates, and presentations of policy recommendations.


New York, NY- On Wednesday, the Dignity in School Campaign (DSC), a national coalition of over 100 organizations from 27 states representing students, parents, educators and advocates, will release a new platform on police in schools, including policy recommendations, a multi-media webpage and a resource guide for communities and policy-makers.

DSC will release the platform on Wednesday, September 21 and hold a press conference call from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. EST. The press call will feature member organizations of the coalition from across the country who are actively campaigning to limit the role of police in schools in California, Minnesota, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas. 


New York, NY- Today, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education released the “Safe School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect ‘SECURe’ State and Local Policy Rubric,” providing recommendations for the role of police in schools. 

The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) supports aspects of the recommendations, including language recommending that policies and practices should explicitly articulate that School Resource Officers (SROs) “should not administer discipline in schools.” However, the guidance should go further to promote substantive solutions and alternatives to police presence in schools, such as redirecting funding from school police towards more counselors, peace builders and positive discipline. 


New York- Today’s release of the second and final phase of recommendations from the Mayor’s Leadership Team on School Climate and Discipline is a culmination of over a year of meetings involving a broad base of stakeholders, including youth, parents, educators, city agencies, civil rights organizations, and labor unions.


The Leadership Team signified a commitment from the Mayor’s Administration to address the impact harsh discipline and policing practices are having on young people in schools. Black and Latino students and students with disabilities have historically and consistently been disproportionately targeted in all categories of exclusionary discipline, with Black students overwhelmingly facing harsher discipline.


New York- Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights released new data on school discipline revealing that students of color continue to be suspended, expelled and arrested in schools at higher rates than white students, pushing them out of the classroom and into a pipeline to prison and low-wage jobs.

The new data shows that Black students are 3.8 times as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions, and 2.3 times as likely to receive a referral to law enforcement or be subject to a school-related arrest as white students.


New York- Today, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GOA) released a report on K-12 Education and how federal agencies could better use information to address discrimination. The GOA’s research found that segregation “negatively impacts students outcomes and exacerbates unequal opportunity experienced later in life and confirmed that race and poverty continue to be a driver for inequities in education.” 


Los Angeles- In late February, the Los Angeles School Police Department (LASPD) informed the Strategy Center’s Fight for the Soul of the Cities campaign that they had returned all military grade weapons granted by the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 1033 program. After a year and a half of campaigning for 1033 weapons to be destroyed, the Labor Community Strategy Center (LCSC) and Fight for the Souls of the Cities are demanding full accountability from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and LASPD for harm caused to the Los Angeles community. 


This week a video surfaced showing Joshua Kehm, a school resource officer, body slam and handcuff a 12-year-old student at Rhodes Middle School in San Antonio, Texas. This video displays the violent and unethical use of excessive force on a child. It is a reminder of why law enforcement personnel should not handle routine student safety or school discipline issues in and around schools.


The Dignity in Schools Campaign – New York (DSC-NY) applauds the decrease in suspensions in New York City public schools reported today by the New York City Department of Education (DOE). The data shows an overall 31% decrease for July to December compared to the 2014 school year. In addition, suspensions for insubordination, Infraction B21 ("defying authority") in the Discipline Code, are down by 81% following changes to the Discipline Code last year which require school principals to get permission from the DOE before they can suspend students for this infraction.


New York- Last week a six-year-old elementary school student in Chicago was handcuffed in school for taking candy off of her teacher’s desk. The student is Madisyn Moore, a young black girl who was then placed under a set of stairs at the school and handcuffed until her mother arrived to pick her up. The reasoning behind this action by a school security guard was to “teach her a lesson.” This incident is unacceptable and shows us once again why School Resource Officers (SROs), municipal police, probation officers and other law enforcement personnel should not handle student safety or school discipline issues in and around schools.