Civil Rights Community Urges Administration Not to Criminalize Children in Safer Communities Act Implementation

Education News 08.3,22

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, joined by 32 national civil and human rights organizations, called on federal agencies to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of students in schools through the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The letter to the attorney general and secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Homeland Security calls for policymakers to reject practices that criminalize students and to commit to evidence-based programs that create positive school climates for everyone.

“Violence against children requires action and serious investments in evidence-based policies and practices that keep students and staff safe and do not directly undermine academic success and criminalize children. Marginalized children, particularly Black children, Native children, LGBTQI+ youth, immigrant children, and children with disabilities, are disproportionately impacted by policies and investments that harden schools and promote criminalization. School policing and other school hardening practices not only create a negative and fearful learning environment but can also lead to the physical harm of children,” the letter states.

The letter adds, “The federal government should invest in solutions and strategies to create positive school climates where there are meaningful improvements to school safety, including a positive learning environment, improved student engagement, and healthy interpersonal relationships. We urge you to join in the call for safe, inclusive, and healthy schools by investing in evidence-based programs that produce a safe and supportive learning environment through the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.”

The full letter can be found here.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 230 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit