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Criminalizing kids: a critical response to the increased presence of police in schools

posted on 2020-12-11, 10:54 authored by Charlotte HastingsCharlotte Hastings, Remi Joseph-Salisbury
Recording of seminar held virtually by the Faculty of Education at Edge Hill University on 17 November 2020, by Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury of the University of Manchester.

In the context of a racialised moral panic around serious youth violence, recent times have seen a resurgence of calls to increase the presence of police in English schools. As well as a lack of popular and political opposition, there is a lack of critical scholarly consideration of the placement of police in schools. In this presentation, I make a case for the abolition of school-based police officers. I draw upon my research with teachers in Greater Manchester, to argue that a police presence in schools impacts negatively upon learning environments, creates a culture of low expectations, criminalises young people, and feeds a school-to-prison pipeline. Showing that the effects of police in schools are felt unequally along race and class lines, I supplement my arguments by drawing upon a recent report, ‘Decriminalise the Classroom’, which I co-authored as part of the No Police in Schools campaign in Greater Manchester.