The ACLU-CT believes that in order to reduce the harm that policing is causing communities of color across the state, Connecticut must reduce the role, responsibilities, and presence of police. This means, at minimum, diverting funds from policing to building safe and healthy communities. School resource officers are police, just as much as any other law enforcement staff across the state, and their in-school policing has much of the same effects on school communities as municipal and state policing have on the broader community. School police employees’ presence in schools is a key link in the school-to-prison pipeline.

When police are in schools, kids—especially Black and Latinx kids—are more likely to be arrested. School police are also disproportionately arresting students with disabilities.

School counselors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are the right people to address the multitude of issues facing our young people. Schools with such services see improved attendance rates, better academic achievement, and higher graduation rates, as well as lower levels of suspension, expulsion, and other discipline. School-based mental healthcare improves outcomes for individual students and makes the entire school community safer. In contrast, police presence in schools is not evidentiarily linked to safer schools. In fact, police on K-12 campuses cause harm, rather than alleviate it. A recent study found no association between having an armed officer and the deterrence of violence in school shootings, and in fact found that an armed officer on the scene was the top factor that contributed to increased casualty, excluding the perpetrator’s use of assault rifles or machine guns. Students in Connecticut schools are better served by access to mental health professionals than by an increase of armed police presence in schools.



Bill number

H.B. 5392