Democrats have these weird ideas sometimes. They seem to think that if they hope really, really hard, bad things will magically disappear and we’ll all live peaceful, happy lives.
That’s the only explanation for this Illinois bill other than pure, outright evil.
Democratic lawmakers in Illinois have drawn up a piece of legislation that would give extra cash to schools that reallocate funds toward replacing armed security officers with unarmed social workers and behavior therapists.
The controversial bill, proposed by Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Westchester, would offer grants to schools that use funds meant for school security and instead spend it on mental health services, including hiring social workers or implementing other practices “designed to promote school safety and healthy environments,” as The Associated Press reported.
16 other Democrats in the House have backed Welch’s plan.
“This increased presence of law enforcement in schools does not necessarily enhance school safety,” Michelle Mbekani-Wiley from the Sargent Shriver Center for Poverty Law told The Associated Press. “Instead it dramatically increases the likelihood that students will be unnecessarily swept into the criminal justice system often for mere adolescent or disruptive behavior.”
However, supporters of school resource officers say their role is essential to keeping students safe, especially from acts of violence.
That’s because SROs are essential. When they’re not cowards, at least. They can meet an armed threat with an armed response. Removing them and replacing them with social workers is absolutely ridiculous.
I’m not saying social workers can’t do some good in some of these schools. I’m sure they can.
But when confronted with an armed threat, talking it out just isn’t really an option. Great Mills High School isn’t remembered as vividly as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School because the SRO did his job and ended the threat. Period.
The truth of the matter is that this bill has more to do with hopes and wishes than real reality.
When people talk about the presence of law-enforcement in schools “sweeping” kids into the criminal justice system, they forget that unless the law permits the officer to arrest someone for a kind of behavior, they can’t do it. If you want SROs to be used less, then you simply make it so they can only act on things that would be criminal outside of school. Few would take issue with such a law, after all.
But to pretend that SROs represent some threat to students?
I’m sorry, but that’s dumb even by Illinois standards. School Resource Officers fill an important role, a role proven to be essential by the failures of Parkland. Had the SRO acted when he should have, how many lives would have been saved? Would we even be having this current gun debate? My guess is we wouldn’t.
But that SRO is the exception, not the rule, and to try and take SROs out of schools at a time when the public debate about combating violence in our schools is so prevalent isn’t just dumb. It’s potentially lethal.
Seriously, it’s almost like they want kids to be murdered.