Few who are paying attention will be surprised that, in Maryland public schools, black students make up a disproportionate number of those arrested by police officers working in the schools. According to the Washington Post, black students make up 56 percent of those arrested (but only 34 percent of the student population), while white students make up only 28 percent (compared to 37 percent of the student population). Eight percent of those arrested are Latino (compared to 18 percent of the student population), six percent multiracial (compared to five percent of the population), and one percent Asians (compared to 7 percent of the population).
The superintendent of Maryland’s schools described the black/white disparity as “horrendous.”
Few who are paying attention will be surprised by the reaction of left-wing activists to these numbers. They want to remove police officers from schools.
But before eliminating police protection of students, including protection from shooters, shouldn’t there be evidence that the officers assigned to schools are discriminating against black students? If they aren’t, there is no reason even to think about kicking them out of schools.
Nothing in the Post’s report suggests that the disparities it cites are the product of discrimination, as opposed to a higher incidence of criminal behavior by black students. I doubt that any reasonable person would infer from the numbers that police officers in schools are discriminating in favor of Latino and Asian students, even though both groups are underrepresented when it comes to arrests. So why infer discrimination from the fact that blacks are overrepresented?
There are numbers that might shed light on the question of whether such discrimination exists. For example, what is the representation of blacks among those arrested by black officers at Maryland’s schools? If it’s similar to black representation in arrests by white officers, then there is no sane basis for inferring any discrimination. (If it’s significantly lower, then it might make more sense to assign mostly black officers to schools than to eliminate police presence altogether.)
Here’s another question. We know that blacks outnumber whites 2:1 when it comes to student arrests in Maryland despite making up roughly the same percentage of the student population. What is the black/white ratio of Maryland students from single parent homes? Nationwide, as far as I can tell, it is 65/24.
To me, that’s horrendous. And I believe it provides a considerable part of the explanation for the racial disparity in student arrests, as well as in arrests generally.