To the editor:
Those who insist that having police in public schools does not make them safer have no way of knowing what mischief didn’t happen because the police presence deterred it or what temptations did not occur to potential perpetrators because police presence made them impracticable to carry out. The potential perpetrators themselves might not even know what thoughts did not cross their minds because carrying them out would seem so self-evidently infeasible.
Those who insist that having police in public schools creates a “school-to-prison-pipeline” ignore how the police presence prevents many students from going down the wrong path because the police presence makes it harder for gangs to form and recruit in school.
Far from preparing students for prison, police presence prevents many from taking a wrong turn early in life, which could lead to a lifetime of lawless behavior. Some actions police might take in schools to counteract gangs, such as the notorious MS-13, could be mischaracterized as “creating a hostile environment for minorities.” But do we want to risk allowing our schools to become welcoming environments for gangs?
Sound discipline is a must for a successful learning environment. ACPS only recently and with great travail got to a point where all its schools are fully accredited. Would schools in which violence thrived because deterrence was not already on site and gangs began to operate freely be a good learning environment – or would these circumstances lead to learning challenges which would risk accreditation?
-Dino Drudi, Alexandria