To the editor:
I am writing to share my concerns about the school resource officer issue. Specifically, a recent letter in the Alexandria Times, “Public debate, private scheming,” misrepresents local efforts to reduce policing and expand counseling in our schools. Reimagining public safety both in and outside of our schools will be necessary if we are to protect Alexandria’s children from the school-to-prison pipeline. The United States has 4.3% of the world’s population and 19.2% of the world’s prisoners, according to the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research.
The desire of groups like Tenants and Workers United, Grassroots Alexandria and Racial Justice Alexandria to see Alexandria’s children reach college instead of prison isn’t “ideologically anti-police,” it is logically pro-student. We need holistic, student-centered, restorative practices, supported by clear metrics and reporting.
As we move forward, we should all request that Alexandria City Public Schools clearly report on racial disparities in school suspensions and actively work to reduce these disparities.
-Jonathan Krall, Alexandria