America’s Largest School Districts Prioritize Security Officers Over Counselors

Data reveals nearly half of America’s biggest school districts hire more security officers than counselors.

As the debate over school safety, classroom violence, and the school-to-prison pipeline continues to dominate national headlines, recent data analysis has revealed that counselors are outnumbered by law enforcement in some of the nation’s largest public school districts.

According to data analyzed by The 74, a nonprofit media outlet reporting on education, students in nearly half of the 10 largest school districts cannot readily access a counselor because their school authorities have decided to replace them with police or other security officers.

New York City, Chicago, Miami-Dade County, and Houston are among the districts, which were found to have prioritized hiring security personnel to counselors.

The results of the analysis showed that none of the top 10 districts, where counselors may be highly needed by low-income students, meets the American School Counselor Association’s recommended counselor-to-student ratio.

The association recommends having one counselor for 250 students. However, most of these districts were as far from meeting that standard as Pluto is from the Sun – in Houston, there is only one counselor per 1,288 students.

More revealing from the analysis is that Black and Hispanic students, many of whom would benefit the most from counseling, comprise the majority in those districts.

According to data reported by The 74, in 2013-2014 academic year school districts across the country averaged two counselors per 1,000 students, with six of the largest public school districts – New York City, Chicago, Clark County, Miami-Dade, Hillsborough County, and Hawaii – surpassing that average.

These findings shed light on the counterproductive approach to school discipline and safety employed against people of color.
Hiring officers, who are untrained in dealing with school related disciplinary problems, has led to Black and Hispanic students being treated like criminals for minor nonviolent offenses.

Despite, these efforts to discourage students in minority communities, many are making the leap into the top of half of pivotal positions in society as is evident in the emergence of a new generation of highly talented scientists, businessmen, lawyers, and athletes and other people of color from all works of life.

We as people shall overcome this and we have done so countless times already.

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