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Expert breaks down what more policing in schools means

As lawmakers and community leaders search for solutions to end gun violence in schools, some suggest increasing the number of police on campuses.

AUSTIN, Texas — Matt Schindler is the executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, and he has analyzed research on police in schools. Starting from the very beginning, he said policing became more common in specific communities. 

“The first real influx of police in schools was related to an increase of the number of people of color in those communities,” said Schindler. 

He said school police end up more so in communities of color. 

“Despite the fact that the driving force is largely school shootings in white communities, perpetrated by white young men, more school police end up in communities of color,” he said.

A University at Albany and Rand Corporation study shows Black students are punished at a rate twice as high as white students. 

“We see an increased rate of suspensions and expulsions and referrals to the justice system, what is known as the school-to-prison pipeline,” said Schindler.

To top it off, Schindler said kids don’t always feel safer with more police. 

“If you're going in every day to a place that has metal detectors, that has security cameras, that has police, what we’re sending a message to kids is there’s some reason you shouldn’t feel safe here,” he said.

The University at Albany and Rand Corporation study shows that police in schools do reduce some forms of violence, but that they don’t prevent mass shootings.

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