For the upcoming Johnson County budget for FY20, the Johnson County Sheriff proposed raising taxes to put a Deputy in the Clear Creek Amana high school. I opposed this move to put police in schools, because statistically it escalates juvenile engagement with the criminal justice system and furthermore disproportionately impacts children of color. Fortunately, the other Supervisors opposed it also. When the Sheriff cornered me to challenge my opinion, he said that may be true nationally but where is the Iowa data? The Clear Creek Amana Principal and Sheriff still want armed police in the school on a daily basis. Not a single person spoke out about this proposal. The Sheriff has asked for time to discuss this initiative of his further.
Thanks to ACLU and the Des Moines Register for providing this important data in the editorial. I believe having police in school often escalates juvenile involvement with the criminal justice system. This is the wrong direction to go in addressing children's mental health and behavioral issues. Let's put social workers, councillors and doctors in schools and resist putting people there with the power to arrest.
I hope people will engage and weigh in on this issue in this year's school board races and next year's campaign for Sheriff.
Des Moines Register: Iowa schools have more cops than social workers