Campus Police Presence Not Healthy for Development, Astor Says

Social Welfare Professor Ron Avi Astor was mentioned in a Southern California News Group article about the controversial presence of armed officers on school campuses. Many school districts in Southern California have armed officers on their campuses despite opposition from parents and students. In September, 18-year-old Mona Rodriguez was fatally shot by a school safety officer in an off-campus parking lot in Long Beach. In that school district, non-sworn officers are able to carry guns, batons and pepper spray but do not have arrest powers. Other school districts have their own police departments or have contracts with police and sheriff departments. According to Astor, a heavy police presence can adversely impact the school climate. “Very heavily armed schools prime the kids in those schools to think of the place more like a prison,” Astor explained. “Militarizing and turning schools into things that look like prisons is not healthy for development. It’s not healthy for identity.”

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