For Immediate Release
May 20, 2021
Contact: Amanda Farnan, firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 355-8431
Councilmember Christina Henderson introduces legislation to increase transparency for police-involved incidents at DC schools
Washington, DC – Today, Councilmember Henderson introduced the School Police Incident Oversight and Accountability Amendment Act of 2021. Consistent with the recommendations of the DC Police Reform Commission, this legislation would require data on school policing to be collected and made publicly accessible in a manner that allows for disaggregation by race, gender, age, and disability status.
“Our school communities deserve transparent, wholistic data on incidents involving the police that occur on campus,” said Councilmember Christina Henderson. “We know that students of color and with disabilities are disproportionately affected by all forms of school discipline. In its current form, data shared around school-based arrests or disciplinary action cannot be disaggregated by demographics. This legislation would change that. We must gather accurate, detailed data to make equitable, well-informed decisions for all students in the District.”
An ACLU report found that students of color are more likely to go to a school with a law enforcement officer, more likely to be referred to law enforcement, and more likely to be arrested at school. According to the 2017 Civil Rights Data Collection Report, Black students in the District of Columbia make up 71% of students but account for nearly 91% of school-based arrests, with Latinx students making up the other 9%. Furthermore, the Black Swan Academy found that Black girls in DC are more likely to be arrested than white youth of any gender identity with 60% of girls arrested being under the age of 15.
This legislation would improve oversight and accountability around youth arrest data. Local Education Agencies would be required to maintain data that includes school-based disciplinary actions involving the Metropolitan Police Department. The Metropolitan Police Department would be required to report police-involved school incidents bi-annually, publicly and disaggregated by race, gender, age, and disability. The report would also include the count of weapons, contraband, and controlled substances recovered at District schools.
The School Police Incident Oversight and Accountability Amendment Act of 2021 was co-introduced by Janeese Lewis George, Robert C. White Jr., Kenyan R. McDuffie, and Brooke Pinto.