School Cops

Students from Sheepshead Bay High School at “My School has Rhythm Not Violence” rap contest auditions, presented by the NYPD School Safety Community Outreach Unit. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Daily.

Students from Sheepshead Bay High School at “My School has Rhythm Not Violence” rap contest auditions, presented by the NYPD School Safety Community Outreach Unit. Image Courtesy of Brooklyn Daily.

Which came first, school cops or school violence? It can be argued that school cops are a response to student violence. However, it can also be argued that student violence is a result of school cop presence. This debate is a very controversial issue at the moment and is extremely relevant to our schools today.

One of the earliest records of a school shooting took place in the 1760’s in Pennsylvania. A group of four Native Americans shot their teacher and nine other classmates in their small schoolhouse. Only three children survived. Fast forward to the later-half of the 19th century. From 1900-1980, there were around 130 school shootings. However, during the 1980’s, Zero Tolerance policies were applied to student’s behavior after heightened concern over youth violence. The “school safety” division of many large cities’ police departments began to grow, creating a criminalization of student conduct. Since 1980-2014, there have been around 230 school shootings. This number has almost doubled from 130 shootings, but in less than half the time.
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