Efforts to push police officers out of Shelby County Schools are intensifying with the recent protests and riots erupting across the country.
Local student advocacy groups are pushing for the removal of sheriff’s deputies and the reallocation of the $2 million spent on their salaries and benefits to mental health services and counselors.With over 200 schools in the county serving 100,000 students, the district is facing opposition from multiple student advocacy groups.
One of the groups advocating for the change is BRIDGES.
“[The officers are] always there to put you in place if you ever mess up,” BRIDGES member Anahis Luna tells the Commercial Appeal.
Some students are complaining the police “are everywhere” in the school.But a large part of the reason they are on scene is to prevent school shootings and to be on scene if any trouble arises.
The Shelby County Schools website says 12 units and 128 school resource officers work for the County.
KWAM reached out to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and was told that during the past school year there were 34 deputies spread across 16 high schools and 10 middle schools.The deputies are here to “intimidate me,” claims Luna, a student representative of BRIDGES. They’re here to “keep me in line.”