Abolishing School Resource Officers Amidst the Black Lives Matter Movement: A History and Case Study in Oakland and Los Angeles

Author
Wendy Gomez
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
Volume
32
Issue Number
0
Publication Date
Spring 2021
Institution
School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Abstract
This paper explores the potential of abolishing school resource officers (SROs), their history in education, and their role in exacerbating the effects of the school-to-prison pipeline and racial injustice. In the midst of calls to defund the police, policies to abolish police in schools are a vital first step. This paper argues that there is an interconnected history between SROs and surveilling youth-led civil rights movements. Today, we see the results—SROs have negatively impacted Black and brown youth subjugating them to higher rates of school-related arrests. Using historical case studies of Oakland and Los Angeles, this research draws on the potential to enact policies that end police in schools. Additionally, this paper places organizers as key actors in policy change. The analysis situates the movement to eliminate SROs as an extension of the civil rights struggle and as a microcosm of the modern-day struggle for abolition.
Topic
Education, History, Police, Domestic Policy, Black Lives Matter (BLM), Case Study
Political Geography
North America, United States of America