Philadelphia School Officials Revamping Security Protocols
From “Philadelphia School Officials Revamping Security Protocols”
Associated Press (06/26/20)
Rather than “school police,” safety officers dressed in less intimidating gear will manage security at Philadelphia public schools during the upcoming academic year. While many other U.S. jurisdictions also are taking police out of schools, the shift in Philadelphia is grounded in statutorily language rather than in activism. A change in the Pennsylvania state code dictates that only sworn officers can be considered “school police,” a description that does not apply to security personnel, who do not carry guns. Police will still have a role; but Kevin Bethel, the Philadelphia district’s new safety chief, says student arrests will be discouraged. Rather, aided by training in trauma-informed practices and implicit bias, he will emphasize mentoring and social services supports.
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