Despite clear evidence regarding the negative impact of police on students and school environments, North Carolina continues to devote millions of dollars to placing armed law enforcement officers in schools. But prioritizing funding for police officers over funding for other school staff and community-based supports is a policy choice that has had grave consequences for North Carolina’s children, especially Black youth and students with disabilities.

This report presents and discusses the implications of federal data regarding the investment that North Carolina has made in staffing its schools with police officers instead of the mental health providers that students need like counselors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and community health workers. The report analyzes the consequences of this choice by reviewing federal data regarding school referrals to law enforcement, with particular attention to disparities by race and disability status. In addition, the report highlights state data that shows disturbing racial disparities regarding school-based complaints and charges for disorderly conduct in schools in particular.

Read the full report below. You can also view our website on the school-to-prison pipeline here.