B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner wants cops out of schools | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner wants cops out of schools

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner is recommending school trustees end their relationships with police in all school districts.

Commissioner Kasari Govender said in a media release issued today, Nov. 25, that “significant concerns” have been raised by marginalized students, their families and communities about harm caused by police in schools.

“While there is a lack of research in Canada about the impact of school liaison officers programs on Indigenous, Black and other racialized students, American research has found that liaison officers contribute to a sense of criminalization and surveillance in schools, especially disadvantaging marginalized students,” the news release said.

Earlier this month, Penticton RCMP announced there would be more police officers in School District No. 67 schools to ”further develop positive relationships between police, students and school communities.”

The initiative will see more officers for Penticton and Summerland middle and high schools. A restorative justice coordinator has also been appointed.

The commissioner said there’s an immediate need for B.C. research to be conducted that centres on the experience of marginalized students.

“For school boards who choose not to take this step, it is incumbent on you to produce independent evidence of a need for (school liaison officers) that cannot be met through civilian alternatives and to explain the actions you are taking to address the concerns raised by Indigenous, Black and other marginalized communities,” Govender said in the news release.

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