PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is joining the call to remove school resource officers from Prince George's County Public Schools.
According to officials, the Prince George’s County Board of Education will be considering a resolution to end its contract with local law enforcement to place armed officers in its school buildings.
The Office of the Public Defender commented in support of the resolution.
OPD’s comments note: “As we see every day in our work, the presence of SROs directly impact the school to prison pipeline, easily funneling black students into the criminal legal system. … [T]he reality we hear from our clients is that the mere presence of an armed, uniformed officer changes the learning setting and escalates simple disagreements, contributing to a culture of criminalization and antagonism in schools.”
“We cannot wait for a catastrophe at the hands of an armed police officer in our schools to make a change,” OPD comments. “By removing SROs from our schools, this Board can take the first important step in dismantling the school security apparatus, and reimagine schools without police. Together, we can create the safe schools our students deserve.”