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In Albuquerque, University of New Mexico School of Law associate professor Maryam Ahranjani and Hope Pendleton, a board member of the Black Law Student Association at UNM, are saying now is the time to remove officers from schools.

“There’s a lot of unfortunate downstream negative repercussions for children from having police officers in schools,” Ahranjani said.

Pendleton and Ahranjani helped write a letter to APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy and her leadership team that says funds earmarked for the APS Police Department would be better spent addressing this counselor-to-student ratio and investing in other personnel.

“Reallocating funds away from law enforcement and toward teacher training and additional supports such as social workers, counselors and school psychologists is an evidence-based way for APS and other districts to keep children and school personnel safe in a cost effective way,” the letter says.

Ahranjani has researched education law, co-written a textbook on student rights and followed the issue of police in schools for decades. And Pendleton has done national research on school security environments.

They write in their letter that there’s “no evidence based support for the idea that having police officers stationed in public schools yields positive outcomes.”

Pendleton said she saw her children’s Black classmates in Illinois being targeted for arrests by officers at schools because of behavioral issues. Ahranjani said that based on national information available, because of implicit biases, “children of color and children with disabilities are the ones who get much more harshly treated by law enforcement.”

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The Albuquerque Journal





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