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13 Action News takes a look at national survey about police in schools

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Apr 07, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 13 Action News took a closer look at the national survey which led to a protest today outside of the Clark County School District’s headquarters.

The survey, titled “Arrested Learning: A survey of youth experiences of police and security at school,” was produced by the Center for Popular Democracy in collaboration with Make the Road New York (MRNY), Make the Road Nevada (MRNV), Latinos Unidos Siempre (LUS), the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC), and the the Research Hub for Youth Organizing at the University of Colorado Boulder.

630 young people associated with the above organizations, which are fighting to dismantle the school-to-prison-and-deportation pipeline, participated in the in-depth survey. The purpose of the survey was to uncover critical information about students’ experiences, interactions, and feelings about police and security at their schools.


According to the Center for Popular Democracy, the survey made it clear that police and security do not make young people feel safe at school.

Here are some bullet points for the survey:

  • 20% of respondents reported school police verbally harassing or bullying students
  • 50% reported police removing students from classrooms, preventing them from learning
  • 26% reported arrests at school
  • 53% of students at majority Black and brown schools reported having to go through metal detectors compared to 11% who described their schools as mostly white
  • 34% of Black respondents at schools with metal detectors claimed their belonging were taken
  • 39% of Black respondents and 35% of Latinx respondents claimed they have been physically search compared to 24% of white respondents
  • 19% of Black respondents at schools with metal detectors claimed they were yelled at
  • 34% of Black respondents and 22% of Latinx respondents at school with metal detectors said they had to take off their shoes versus 7% of white respondents
  • 33% of respondents said they have felt targeted by police based on race, primary language, sexual orientation or gender identity
  • 64% reported they have experienced or known someone who has experienced a negative interaction with school police

When asked what makes students feel safe at school, they responded:

  • 84% selected friends
  • 63% selected teachers
  • 23% selected security guards
  • 16% selected police

According to the Center for Popular Democracy, there is no substantial evidence that police and security make schools safer. Instead, it claims that there is evidence that law enforcement in schools increases referrals to the criminal legal system, especially among Black and Latino students.

The support for police-free schools is possible according to the Center for Popular Democracy. At this time, nearly 40 school districts have taken some action towards removing police from schools.

According to the survey, students would rather increase funding for resources like teachers, nurses, social workers and mental health providers.