“I just introduced legislation with @AyannaPressley, @ewarren, and @ChrisMurphyCT to replace police officers in schools with mental health professionals,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) announced Thursday in a tweet claiming that the presence of school police “criminalizes” minorities:
“Over-policing our schools doesn’t make them safer — it criminalizes Black and brown students. That’s why I just introduced legislation with @AyannaPressley, @ewarren, and @ChrisMurphyCT to replace police officers in schools with mental health professionals to support students.”
Ocasio-Cortez did not elaborate on her racially-charged accusation.
Her bill is the House version of the Senate bill introduced Wednesday by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), summarized on Congress.gov:
“S.4360 - A bill to divert Federal funding away from supporting the presence of police in schools and toward evidence-based and trauma informed services that address the needs of marginalized students and improve academic outcomes, and for other purposes.”
If passed, the new law would withhold funding from schools that utilize police to ensure student safety, Education Week reports:
“Federal funding would be prohibited from being used to hire, train, and keep law enforcement at schools, under legislation introduced by four Democratic members of Congress.
“The Counseling Not Criminalization Act would also create a $2.5 billion grant program to replace police in schools with school psychologists, social workers, and other staff to help support mental health and provide trauma-informed services.”
The law would also require schools to provide “assurances” that they will end any existing contracts, the article explains:
“In addition to barring federal money from being used to support police in schools, the Counseling Not Criminalization Act would require districts to provide assurances that they will end any existing contracts they have with police before they receive grant money, and that they won't enter into a new contract with police during the term of the grant.”