Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 12
n POLICING AMERICA'S SCHOOLS:
An Education Week Analysis
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11
like threats, fights, vandalism, and theft at schools
with law-enforcement officers who were on site at
least weekly. That remained true even after authors
controlled for factors like state laws that require
schools to report certain issues to law enforcement,
levels of criminal activity and disorder, neighborhood crime, and demographic variables.
Supporters of school police say the incidents documented in viral videos are outliers and don't represent the behaviors of most school resource officers.
They argue that proper training and better vetting
of officers in the hiring process can prevent such incidents from occurring.
Schools also need to set clear limits for officers
on what types of incidents they can and can't get
involved with, said Mo Canady, the executive director of the National Association of School Resource
Officers, which provides officer training.
NASRO has repeatedly taken the public position
that officers should not be involved in school discipline. And racial and ethnic disparities in school arrest rates mirror disparities in law enforcement as
a whole, the organization has said.
Law-enforcement agencies shouldn't treat schools
as a regular beat rotation without considering
whether officers have the desire and knowledge to
work in such a distinct setting, Canady said.
"I don't care where the officer is coming from," he
said. "They shouldn't be placed in there just for the
sake of having someone there. That's a mistake."
There's a difference between a general law-enforcement officer who works in a school and a school
resource officer who has received additional training to work with students, even though the term is
often used colloquially to refer to all school-based
officers, Canady said.
NASRO's training follows the "triad model,"
which teaches officers how to serve in three roles in
schools: as law-enforcement officials, as educators
who teach students about subjects like the criminaljustice system or drug prevention, and as informal
counselors and mentors for students. Such training is necessary, Canady said, to understand how
students with disabilities interact with law enforcement, how to de-escalate conflict, and how teenagers' brain development influences their behavior
and impulse control.
In 2013, when Canady testified before a congressional committee after the Sandy Hook shootings,
a lawmaker asked him if more schools should have
school resource officers.
"We're not calling for more police in schools," Canady said. "What we're asking for are the ones who
go into schools to be properly trained."
Education Week Research Center intern Coral Flanagan
contributed to this report.
American Civil Liberties Union-File
A Specialized Beat
She Recorded Classmate's Arrest,
Then Got Arrested, Too
By Evie Blad
Niya Kenny had just intended to document what she feared
could be a bad situation. But when she encouraged her classmates at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., to join
her in recording a student's violent arrest by a school police
officer in 2015, she never suspected videos would spread
across the internet and ignite fierce debate about school discipline and law enforcement.
Officer Ben Fields, the school-based sheriff's deputy who
dragged her classmate from her desk after the girl refused to
give up a cellphone, later arrested Kenny on the same charge-
disturbing a school. The charge stemmed from Kenny's recording of the incident and her loud protests of the officer's behavior.
Fields was fired, but federal authorities said they won't charge
him with criminal civil rights violations.
Kenny first saw one of her classmate's videos later that day
on the local TV news as she waited to be booked into jail. A
self-described "good kid," she did not expect to be arrested
Now 19, Kenny didn't return to Spring Valley, opting instead to finish a GED. She has joined other South Carolina
students in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the
state's laws against "disturbing schools" and disorderly conduct. Those laws are overly broad and applied disproportionately to black students, their lawyers argue.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
Walk me through what happened in math class that day.
[The teacher is] talking to [the student who was arrested],
and then I see him walk over to his desk, and he's on the
phone. I hear him say, "I need someone escorted out of my
class." Once he called an administrator, that's who he called,
[the administrator] comes in. He asks her, "Are you going to
leave with me?" She just kind of sits there quiet.
Then [the administrator] walks out, and a few seconds
later, maybe even a minute, he returns with Deputy Fields.
[Fields] asks her is she going to leave. She just still kind of
sits there quiet, and then that's when you see what happens
on the video.
What made you decide to record the arrest? Did you
have any thoughts of what you would do with the
video when you were shooting it?
You know, just because I was older, and this was my fourth
year at Spring Valley, I had already known about [Fields]
abusing his authority when it came to dealing with kids.
I just started encouraging my younger classmates and I was
like, "Take out your phones. Y'all record this because I feel
like it's not about to be pretty."
How did you get arrested?
Everyone was just kind of scared and quiet, but I was the
only one saying like, "She didn't even do anything. How are
y'all letting this happen to her?"
I was the only one who was really vocal about the situation, the only one. ... Two other grown men were in the
class, and I was the only one who was vocal, protesting the
Maybe [Fields] felt like, "Oh, she's trying to challenge my
authority as well, so I'm going to take her to jail." I had no
clue what was going through his head, honestly. ...
He turned around and he was like, "Oh, you have so much
to say, you're coming, too."
What was it like to go to jail?
Initially, I was like crying the whole entire time. I was nervous. I honestly thought I was going to get beat up in jail. But
you know, the people in jail were also really supportive of the
situation, especially when we were all sitting in the holding
room and we all saw the video together.
I was telling them, I was like, "That's why I'm in here, because I was telling him that's not right to be throwing her like
that, and he arrested me."
Niya Kenny, above,
stands outside her
former high school
in Columbia, S.C.,
pictured at right,
arrested by a
officer in 2015.
12 | EDUCATION WEEK | January 25, 2017 | www.edweek.org
Were you surprised at how much traction this got
on the internet and the response?
I was extremely like shocked. I had no idea that this was
going to become as big as it did.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Education Week - January 25, 2017
Education Week - January 25, 2017
Black Students Most Likely To Be Arrested at School
Crossroads for K-12 Policy With Trump Now at Helm
News in Brief
Spec. Ed. Enrollments Rise
Coalition for Essential Schools To End Its 33-Year Run
DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Faster, Cheaper Tech for Schools Noted
Study of i3 Flags Issues For School Innovators
Q&A: She Recorded Classmate’s Arrest, Then Got Arrested, Too
Nominee to Head Ed. Dept. Grilled on Potential Business Conflicts
DeVos Takes Hot Seat In Confirmation Quest
State of the States
Trump Calls Nation’s Schools ‘Flush With Cash,’ Failing
JACK MARKELL: How ESSA Could Change Education for the Better
BRIAN GILL & JENNIFER LERNER: Accountability Should Add Up To More Than Test Scores
KAREN LEWIS: Betsy DeVos and Rahm Emanuel: Two Sides of the Same Coin
TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
JULIE FLAPAN & JANE MARGOLIS: Stop Scapegoating and Start Educating
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Crossroads for K-12 Policy With Trump Now at Helm
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 2
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 3
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - News in Brief
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Report Roundup
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 6
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Coalition for Essential Schools To End Its 33-Year Run
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - DIGITAL DIRECTIONS: Faster, Cheaper Tech for Schools Noted
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Study of i3 Flags Issues For School Innovators
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 10
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 11
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Q&A: She Recorded Classmate’s Arrest, Then Got Arrested, Too
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 13
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - DeVos Takes Hot Seat In Confirmation Quest
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - State of the States
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 16
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 17
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Trump Calls Nation’s Schools ‘Flush With Cash,’ Failing
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 19
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - BRIAN GILL & JENNIFER LERNER: Accountability Should Add Up To More Than Test Scores
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - KAREN LEWIS: Betsy DeVos and Rahm Emanuel: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - Letters
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 23
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - TopSchoolJobs Recruitment Marketplace
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 25
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 26
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - 27
Education Week - January 25, 2017 - JULIE FLAPAN & JANE MARGOLIS: Stop Scapegoating and Start Educating
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