DeSantis advisory-committee member Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, said Thursday law enforcement should have authority over arrests on school grounds.

“We need to be unleashed into the schools, show consequences to the kids, so that when they grow and turn 18, we’re not actually creating a pipeline to the prison system,” Bell said. “We need to show there is accountability for your poor decisions and your poor actions. Curb behavior at the beginning, instead of when it’s too late and we let someone like Nicholas Cruz to flourish within our school board system.” (Source: News4Jax, TV station in Jacksonville.)

“Bureaucrats don’t understand policing or police work,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in [Parkland] shooting. “We need to take bureaucrats out of the mix of policing in the schools.” (Source: Tampa Bay Times, January 3, 2019.)

“We have substituted the judgment of school administrators and educators for law enforcement,” Petty said. “We need to stop looking at law enforcement as the enemy. They are part of the solution, and we need to approach it that way.” (Ibid.)

Are we ready to unleash these people to take discipline measures out of the hands of school administrators? GOT can see a dystopian alternate universe where police officers burst into a classroom, slap handcuffs on a student, and drag them out of the room. The ‘crime’? Too many tardies.

It is interesting, this call to be unleashed as educators are also hearing a message from some law enforcement personnel that they must carry guns because they cannot expect law enforcement to show up in an active shooter situation.

As an educator, GOT admits he is not an expert in the law or law enforcement. Persons in law enforcement often come with a college degree in criminal justice or political science. They have gone to training academies. They spend weeks in professional development every year to understand how best to police a community, identify threats, and enforce the law as they maintain peace and order in our neighborhoods.

But law enforcement also lacks expertise in education, school environments, and child development, especially the development of adolescents. The very idea of police walking the hallways of a school to show consequences to children with the idea that they will become adults too afraid to break the law is naive at best.

Peace and order in communities is not maintained by fear. Only tyrants think otherwise.

Peace and order is maintained when all persons in the community recognize their membership, their role and place in the community, and the interconnectedness and reliance of all members upon the others. A breach in the relationship injures the community. Peace and order comes when offenders go through a process of restoration to their place in the community, not removal from it.

Then there is this: The Trump administration wanting to void civil rights protections dating back to the 1960s. The Secretary of Education moving to erase previous guidance to the nation’s schools about replacing zero-tolerance policies with restorative practices.

Look at the quote above: We don’t want kids to turn 18 and be creating a pipeline to prison.

The speaker got it right, but in a way he did not intend. No, you don’t want schools to be a pipeline to prisons; you want schools to become prisons!

They want to be unleashed, but isn’t it more true that they’d like to be off the chain?

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