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‘Safety’ In U.S. Schools Means More Cops And Fewer Counselors

By Rebecca Klein ~ Huffpost

About 14 million students attend a school without a single counselor, nurse, psychologist or social worker, according to a new report.

An estimated 14 million students attend a school without a single counselor, nurse, psychologist or social worker, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union. But their schools do employ cops.

This disparity is poised to get worse after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, inspired the federal government and many state legislatures to push for enhanced security on campuses and prioritize the “hardening” of schools.

“There’s a dangerous trend in prioritizing law enforcement as a response to school safety when no evidence suggests that’s going to improve things,” said Amir Whitaker, staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California and co-author of the report released Monday.

The ACLU report analyzes data from the federal government. The government first began collecting data on how many social workers, nurses and psychologists schools employ in 2016 and released its findings in April 2018. (It already collected data on school counselors.) These numbers are self-reported by schools, so they may be unreliable. However, Whitaker said, “it’s literally the only data we have available.”

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