Students Criticize APS for Funding Police in Schools
(APN) ATLANTA — Carver High School students recently launched 10 Mil 4 Real, a campaign to challenge the role of police in Atlanta Public Schools (APS).
APN previously reported in 2008 about activism by the American Civil Liberties Union to close an alternative education school that had been run by for-profit Community Education Partners for APS for so-called troubled youths. Forrest Hill Academy may have closed in 2009, but the problem of the school-to-prison pipeline continues.
The Carver students are part of Project South’s Youth Community Action Program (YCAP).
“The 10 Mil 4 Real campaign (#10M4R) seeks to confront police brutality that youth face in schools on an everyday basis. Over 10 million dollars are pumped into the Atlanta Police Department to increase police presence in Atlanta Public Schools. Though safety is stated the intent [sic], our youth are being beaten, tazed, and terrorized everyday by these same police officers for small time school offenses,” Project South said in a statement.
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, eight teens were gathered around a cluster of tables in a meeting room at Project South’s office.
Community organizer Jamar Raheem took notes on a whiteboard as the youth deliberated over the content of a survey, which is the first project of the campaign.
“We’re going to reach out to youth ages thirteen to twenty-four at our school and in other schools and communities,” Malika Benoit, a member of YCAP, told APN.
Their goal is to get 1,600 people to answer the survey which asks about respondents’ experiences with School Resource Officers (SROs), which is what APS calls police officers stationed in schools.
The young organizers expect that the information they collect will prove a need for the changes they’re calling for.
“We’re not trying to get SROs out completely. But APS is putting $10 million into weapons and police cars when our textbooks are outdated and our Internet doesn’t work,” Jaequan Allison, another YCAP member, told APN.
“There’s a joke around Carver that we have our own S.W.A.T. team. Instead we need to put that money into better food, better books, job training, staff to help with childcare for those of us who are parents, healthcare, and transportation,” Allison said.
Youth organizers of 10 Mil 4 Real will initially focus on collecting testimonials and getting more students and community members involved. As the campaign unfolds, they will develop demands and seek meetings with APS officials.
These students have a point. The Georgia Lawyers acting as politicians are passing too many criminal laws. These lawyers acting as politicians are all about generating revenue for the State, and themselves, and these laws are designed to criminalize those who have the least. In every court system in the State of Georgia there is disproportionate number of blacks and minorities brought into court for things that 10 or 20 years ago were not considered illegal and because of over policing and giving too much power to police is unnecesarily costing people their money, their freedom and in some cases, their lives. Police look at all citizens as suspects and approach people interigating/cross examining them to see if they can find a reason to arrest people and then will lock them up without a bond or what amounts to being arrested without bond by setting a bond that these economically challenged people can not afford to pay. They serve the time without ever being convicted and then they realize that they may as well enter a plea other than “not guilty” based on the advice of an attorney on the State Payroll, claiming to be a ‘Public Defender’, when in fact they are “Public Pretenders”. In most of, if not 90 percent of all these case are plead out for [time served]. Pubic intoxication was not a crime, if you did nothing to anyone, and police with lie to make their case against people. Debtor’s court was and still is a violation of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Georgia, but all the court’s of City and County Governments and most State Courts can be paid out to it one can afford to buy their Civil and Constitutional Rights. Peddling and begging has been around since creation, but it is now a crime in most local governments. But when government employees solicit for money, i.e. the Firemen or Police or certain other organizations, it is legal.