Reforming School Discipline and Resource-Officer Programs

-THE ATLANTIC, 29 OCTOBER 2015, FEAT. PROF. SETH STOUGHTON & PROF. JOSH GUPTA-KAGAN:

After graphic videos of a white police officer arresting a black girl at Spring Valley High School went viral earlier this week, public attention again focused on use of force and the racial dynamics of police encounters. In a matter of days, Richland County, South Carolina, Sheriff Leon Lott fired the officer for violating the agency’s use-of-force policy and training, the FBI agreed to conduct a civil-rights investigation, and the school district promised to improve conflict avoidance and deescalation training for school resource officers. Those actions are appropriate and appreciated, but they leave some fundamental questions unanswered: Why was the officer involved at all? Why was garden-variety adolescent defiance—texting during class and refusing to follow directions—treated as a crime? <Read More>