Fewer Cops, More Counselors in School: S.F. Board

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San Francisco’s school board wants to curtail the role of police officers in public schools drastically next year and use money saved to rehire laid off high-school counselors, says the San Francisco Chronicle.

The board voted unanimously to ask the city to divert the $1 million that funds the San Francisco Police Department’s Car 29 program — which sends 12 officers to patrol schools, community centers and other buildings — to rehire some of the 19 counselors laid off this month because of a tight budget.

The board urged the Police Department to remove officers stationed inside schools and have them patrol the campus perimeters instead. The board’s move was hailed by some parents, students and activists who said police presence at schools creates an intimidating atmosphere.

Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who “emphatically supports” having school resource officers, and several principals voiced concern about safety. Since January, 56 students have been arrested at schools with police officers on campus for crimes ranging from threatening teachers to fighting, robbery and sexual battery.

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/05/29/BA302434.DTL

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