Allentown students say they want police out of schools

Written by on June 26, 2020

Allentown students say they want police out of schools

By Ben Stemrich

June 26, 2020

Photo | Ben Stemrich / WLVR

This week members of the Allentown school community gathered to discuss police presence in schools. Police help provide security at schools, but many in attendance said they want a contract between the district and the department terminated.

Nasheera Brown is a Louis E. Dieruff High School student and organized the event in downtown Allentown. 

“We need people who understand us, care about us, and know where we come from,” said Brown.

She says she feels safe with the officers she knows, but many students aren’t familiar with them.

“What do those kids have to say for themselves? I’m scared, I’m lost, I’m hurt, I don’t have help…”

Phoebe Harris was also in attendance. She is a director of the Allentown school board.

“I heard that the students aren’t listened to, they are seen as thugs, they are seen as animals and my heart hurts,” said Harris.

“You are getting paid by our tax dollars, our homeowner tax dollars and you treat our children that way. I have a problem with that.”

Harris says she wants to see restorative practices put into place in the district, that promote inclusiveness and relationship-building instead of calling the police when there is a problem. Allentown Superintendent Thomas Parker has previously said he’s in talks with the police chief to come up with ways where students feel nurtured and safe in schools. 


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