For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 5 2017
#CopsOuttaCampus Campaign Launches to END the School to Prison/Deportation Pipeline
In Speak Out event, students from across Phoenix Launch Innovative Campaign
Phoenix, AZ — Students from across the Phoenix Union High School District understand that, as long as there are cops in classrooms, they run the risk of being funneled into the criminal justice system and eventually deported or incarcerated. In an unprecedented stand for their own safety, Phoenix students are launching a campaign to get police out of schools so that they can learn in a safe space without the threat of criminalization and deportation.
“Safety to me is walking into my campus and not being watched by a police officer, waiting for me to make a mistake,” said Michelle, a senior at PUHS. “The school policies weren’t made for us. The policies were made to get us in trouble for everything. Cops in schools do not make me feel safe.”
“Phoenix Union, we don’t want cops in our schools stereotyping us,” said Jose Eduardo Ramos. “Police don’t make me feel safe. School should never make me feel like I’m in danger.”
“We invite youth to Phoenix Union High School District to remove police from schools; we want safety for our youth and make it aware that the real dangers of deportation and incarceration stem from police in schools,” said Leidy Robledo, Youth Organizer for Puente Arizona. “We demand real safety and it doesn’t begin with cops.”
The young people launched the campaign, coordinated by Puente Arizona, at a Speak Out yesterday. Following the event, the students presented their demands in front of the school board members.
We are asking Phoenix Union High School District to end the prison/deportation pipeline by removing school police from campus.
We want the superintendent to reduce the risk of youth ending up in prison detention, centers or deportation proceedings, by reducing contact between law-enforcement and youth.
The district is over spending on police. We want to make sure these incidents don’t continue to happen. We want the district to reinvest the amount of money they are spending for police that being, $481,385, and invest in programs that actually make students feel safe.