Nearly all of the kids Children’s Law Center represents are Black and Brown, and many routinely interact with the Metropolitan Police Department officers in their schools, at home and in their communities. More often than not, these interactions are negative, especially for students of color or ones with special needs or behavioral health issues. At at time when DC children are shouldering the weight of stress and trauma from both systemic racism and the public health crisis, CLC strongly believes now is the time to rethink the role of police in our children’s lives.
That’s why Children’s Law Center Executive Director Judith Sandalow recently shared her budget testimony about the Metropolitan Police Department with the DC Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. CLC asks the DC Council to redirect the $18.5 million increase in MPD’s budget to programs that keep children safe, learning and together with their families. We especially urge the Council to redirect the $2.5 million increase for School Resource Officers to school-based mental health supports. Prioritizing more mental health professionals — not more police — in DC’s schools is the right investment of our limited resources.
Read the full testimony here: