It has been found by the courts that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door. Wouldn’t it be logical and just if they also did not shed responsibility for their criminal acts when they enter the school building?
The political right screams that police in our school presage an eventual police state while the political left obsesses about early and unnecessary adjudication. The reality is that schools, although still significantly safer than a shopping mall, are a much more dangerous place now than they were 30 years ago. A properly trained officer who is emotionally suited for the job will be a big plus for some schools. The opposite may also be true
Police are in our schools because the parents and teachers, too often, no longer have the will, tools or the time to discipline children effectively beginning in kindergarten. Children tend to be selfish and most will take what they can get however and whenever they can. We, too often, reward what are barely acceptable behaviors and while ignoring or accepting unacceptable behaviors because of our current “positive reinforcement models.” This results in children who, after several years of unceasing positive reinforcement, believe they are untouchable, unaccountable, and consequence proof which in turn results in the need for a higher authority, the police, within our schools. An authority that can deliver meaningful consequences.
Although I recognize the absolute need for a police liaison in some schools, and I have worked in some fairly rough schools, I personally would not want a police presence in a school where I worked because it reeks of the old, “Wait ’til your father gets home,” mentality that erodes the authority of those who should have full authority within accepted limits to discipline those for whom they are held responsible.