By: Monique Dixon

Source: Baltimore Sun

This week’s disturbing video of a South Carolina school police officer body slamming a black girl who refused to leave the classroom exposed the consequence of police disciplining students in our nation’s schools (“Since when is classroom backtalk a criminal offense?” Oct. 29). Baltimore’s school system has its own examples of school police using excessive force and arresting students, particularly students of color, for nonviolent offenses. Weeks ago, a school police officer pled guilty to assault charges for walloping a middle school girl with a baton and pepper spraying her peers.

While the Baltimore City School Police Force does not publicly report school arrest or use-of-force data, our public records request revealed that in 2014, about one-third of the nearly 400 students arrested were charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and common assault (likely fighting). Also, officers used force in 16 incidents. Their weapon of choice? Pepper spray.

Read the full Baltimore Sun piece here