100 signatures reached
To: School Board Trustees and Superintendent
Safety and Equity in Kingston Schools
We are asking members of the Kingston community to prioritize safety for all kids and demand the district remove School Resource Officers (SROs) from our schools. Time and time again, children in the Kingston City School District have fallen victim to racial profiling, violence, sexual harassment, and trauma at the hands of the police. Due to the lack of Police Accountability, no justice has been served for most of the children who have been harmed.
Police are defunding the Kingston City School District. The district is currently spending over $370,000 per year to criminalize our children which could be used for guidance counselors, social workers, nurses, and psychologists, not to feed the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
Our demands are as follows:
- An immediate and permanent cancellation of contracts with Kingston Police - Department, Ulster Police Department and all law enforcement.
- A commitment to reinvest those funds into Mental Health and Community Resources for the children in the district.
- Investigate all complaints of Police Violence and Misconduct that have been reported to the school district
Please sign the petition and contact members of the KCSD School Board and Superintendent Padalino to support the removal of School Resource Officers from KCSD and the reallocation of those funds towards mental health resources.
Why is this important?
Studies have shown that the presence of armed guards actually increases the death rate in active shooter situations. In 197 instances of gun violence at U.S. schools since 1999, SROs intervened successfully in only three instances. Sadly, most Black and brown students report that they feel significantly less safe when SROs are present in schools. "SROs intensify the use of suspensions, expulsions, police referrals, and arrests of students … effects (which) are consistently over two times larger for Black students than White students". Instead of helping students feel safe, SROs reinforce oppressive systems of racism and inequity.
The Memorandum Of Understanding between the KCSD and The Police Department says: “Under state law, the SRO shall not serve as a school disciplinarian, as an enforcer of school regulations, or in place of school-based mental health providers, and the SRO shall not use police powers to address traditional school discipline issues.” Despite the contract, the SROs in the schools are routinely involved in disciplining the children - criminalizing them at a young age.
This is in direct violation of The Kingston School District Code of Conduct (Policy #5300) which mandates restorative practices toward Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Restorative Justice, which the district claims to promote, is the journey toward well-being and wholeness that victims, offenders, and community members can experience. Restorative Justice practices have been proven to reduce recidivism by nearly half and increase victim satisfaction significantly when compared to more fear-based, punitive disciplinary procedures.