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Policing in Cheney’s schools

According to data from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, during the 2013-2014 school year the rate of student referral to law enforcement in the Cheney School District was 9.86 per 1,000 students. This was over twice the national rate of 4.47, and over three times the Washington rate of 2.94. Twelve of the 43 (28 percent) of these students were reported as having a disability; four of the 12 disabled students referred to law enforcement were racial minorities.

According to a 2017 American Civil Liberties Union report, a first-time arrest doubles the odds that a student will drop out of high school, and a first-time court appearance quadruples the odds. One study found that only 26 percent of students who are arrested graduate from high school, compared to 64 percent of their peers; and that arrested students are only half as likely to enroll in a four-year college.

Has the pattern changed since 2014? Are disabled and minority children still being disproportionately arrested and referred to law enforcement?

Is it time to take a closer look at policing within the Cheney School District?

Kristin Mansfield


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