Senate bills: Cops must leave schools, law-breakers should stay

By Guy Page

Taken together, three Vermont Senate bills would expel active-duty police from schools, limit suspensions of law-breaking students, and prevent off-duty cops and retired military from responding to a school shooting.

S.63 would expel armed, on-duty police officers — aka “school resource officers” — from Vermont public schools. Their presence leads to unacceptably high arrests — particularly of minorities – and feeds the “school-to-prison pipeline,” say its authors.

state of Vermont

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington

Last week, Senate Education reviewed S.16, which would give Vermont educators data needed to reduce minority suspensions and expulsions “at the local level.” Sponsored by Sens. Richard Sears (D-Bennington) and Kesha Ram (D-Chittenden), it would create the School Discipline Advisory Council “to collect and analyze data regarding school discipline in Vermont public and approved independent schools” because nationally “Black students (representing approximately 15 percent of the U.S. student population) are suspended and expelled at a rate two times greater than white students (representing approximately 50 percent of the U.S. student population).”

The presence of police in schools leads to too many arrests, and too many of the arrestees are minorities, says S.63, sponsored by Sens. Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor), Ruth Hardy (D-Addison), Chris Pearson (D/P Chittenden), and Anthony Pollina (P-Washington). The bill finds:

  • The presence of school resource officers (SROs) in schools leads to an increase in student referrals to law enforcement, arrests, and convictions, even for low-level offenses.
  • A 2016 report on the nationwide school-to-prison pipeline found that a student’s referral to law enforcement for lower-level offenses is between 1.38 and 1.83 times higher for schools that have regular contact with SROs than those schools that do not have such contact.
  • Nationally, schools with law enforcement presence reported 3.5 times as many arrests as schools without law enforcement presence.

Students who are black and/or have disabilities also are arrested at higher-than-average rates, say statistics cited in the bill. S.63 paints the presence of cops as the problem, and offers a ready solution: “Neither a school, a school district, nor a supervisory union shall contract, or otherwise engage, for the services of a school resource officer.” The estimated $2 million spent on school cops instead would be spent on mental health and social workers and other alternatives. Expelling cops from schools is part of a 10-step “Plan to Reimagine Policing in Vermont” adopted by the ACLU of Vermont, Migrant Justice, Vermont Legal Aid, and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

Proponents of SROs say they offer schools an additional measure of safety, improved culture and climate with regards to responding and preventing school-based crimes, enhancing and fostering a positive relationship among the youth, educators, and law enforcement, according to a 2018 Bedden & Associates study. The Bedden study says that in addition to ‘patrol’ duties, SROs take the role of a guest speaker, lecturer, and teacher in the classroom, assisting teachers in fulfilling evidence-based curricula such as the Second Step, Bullying Prevention Program, Gang Resistance Education and Training. They also educate students on unlawful inquiries, substance abuse, youth-centered offenses including dating as violence, laws and constitutional rights, conflict resolution and restorative justice as well as law enforcement as a profession.

Neither should parents concerned about school shootings expect off-duty cops or retired military to respond. Chittenden Democrat Sen. Phil Baruth’s S.30 ban on carrying guns in some public places would not provide this exemption, he told Senate Judiciary January 27:

People have advanced the argument, unsuccessfully, that off-duty police officers, should be allowed to, if they are on school grounds, in effect to act as a resource officer. I have to say I think, it’s, ah, in other words, if they perceive trouble they should be allowed to go in with their firearm, and I personally have always opposed that because I’ve never written a gun safety bill that didn’t have an exemption for active-duty or on-duty, because I think that’s important. But there was a push some years back to allow retired or off-duty to carry on school grounds, and I think that would be, in effect, just getting rid of the prohibition on weapons.

Baruth told Capitol Police Chief Matt Romei that too many of the Jan. 6 Capitol rioters were ex-military or police:

Personally, one of the things that I find most troubling about what happened at the capitol, was, as they begin to charge these people, there are I think 400 active cases, it’s turning out that many of them are off-duty police officers, retired military, active duty military, and that’s within the group that were the most coordinated and violent.

I think sometimes people think of off-duty police officers, and you, you said it yourself, that somebody who should be allowed to use their weapon in case they’re at a school and something happens, but I would just caution us … there’s, there’s growing evidence of radicalization in police forces, military, national guard etc., and so any provision that would allow those people to carry off-duty seems to me to be, ah, really asking for trouble these days.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports. Vermont Daily is sponsored by True North Media.

Images courtesy of TNR and state of Vermont

11 thoughts on “Senate bills: Cops must leave schools, law-breakers should stay

    • I remember finding this information when it happened and main stream media refused to cover it. It’s amazing how some of the information on this is lost over time… That article covers most of it but leaves out some parts. I also remember something involving Debbie Wasserman Schultz who was the representative for that district, the chair of the DNC, and how she was immediately in touch with David Hogg and how the DNC used those children for their agenda.

      The worst part is that this “experiment” was considered a success and is now being copied all over the country as your article explains. Apparently here in Vermont too. Just another example of how the progressives/democrats are taking our country from one of laws and structure to one of feelings and race baiting.

  1. Lets have an experiment. In an TNR article herein: “Richmond Selectboard passes resolution advancing sanctuary policies on illegals”.
    OK this is a good start to prove that illegals, lack of law enforcement, sanctuary towns is the basic requirements for “peace in the Valley”. Get rid of the local police totally, limit the State police and any sheriff jurisdiction being “interference”. Reduce taxes as these departments would be dissolved. This is the path to utopia in the selectboard minds.

    Richmond VT will show the way for other towns to adapt their policies and everything will be great. Lets sit back and watch. Richmond is near the bastion of the high liberal areas of S. Burlington, Burlington, Essex and all those Legislators. Perhaps Richmond’s influence will spread to those areas. Just off I-89 boy, illegals have open access to Richmond.

    Another benefit will be making the total area gun free zones. Utopia, guns not needed. This will prove that Baruth’s constant gun control legislation was and is meaningful. The NY professor really knows his stuff for Vermonters. A political laboratory experiment, at their demise.

    Basically what can be said is that all this experimentation is in Northwest VT and may not affect the rest of VT.

    “The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.”

  2. Correction; it is broken family to prison pipeline.

    The schools only foster the development of broken families, lack of respect and hopelessness for their students. There are many intent on breaking down order and teaching protesting and anarchy. People are not taught respect of any kind, quite the opposite.

    It should be safe in Vermont to send your kids to a drug free school, why are some so against that? Drugs are truly a product used to destroy family of color. Why would we support that?

    • No concept that the school “arrests” are improper, just that they occur.
      We don’t want “officer friendly” let the youth have their first encounter in crime. or misdemeanor.
      Are schools now immune from educating acceptable behaviors?
      Should our youth be shown that bad behavior is good, acceptable.

      NO !!!!!

  3. This bill is full of BS and a joke.!! As much as these so-called sponsored Sens. So the police need to leave but these dumb A–es are to stay while they bully others, threaten others, bring weapons to school, destroy school property all that is ok right??? I think the dumb a–es are these senators.. There are white thugs ( and that’s what they all are) who get arrested too. Keep kissing the BLM a–es…

  4. I can just picture Mr. Baruth walking, with his head held high, into the setting sun. But if he dares looks behind him, he’ll see a dark, creepy shadow following, and that will probably scare the living hell out of him.
    Why is Montpelier crawling with these imported Kasper Milquetoasts? Vermonters are made of sterner stuff…

  5. Perhaps the good English Professor could tell us when he had to write letters to parents of sons or daughters who died defending our Constitution in his classroom. His statements here regarding active duty and retired military and police are beyond disgusting. Not only does he have absolutely no concept of what our deployed forces deal with on a daily basis, he apparently believes the opportunity is ripe to denigrate their service.

    This person has no business working at any college that receives public funding.

  6. Baruth’s paranoia of firearms and police seems to be now growing. Apparently off-duty police and both retired and active duty military cannot be trusted?
    Ah, professor, they can indeed be trusted to do the right thing.
    The right thing just isn’t your thing.

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