Lehigh Valley students say they don’t want to police in schools

Written by on July 22, 2020

 Lehigh Valley students say they don’t want to police in schools 

By Genesis Ortega

July 22, 2020

Students from Louis E. Dieruff High School and others gathered in Allentown in June for a rally against police in schools.

Students across the Lehigh Valley have been speaking out about racial inequalities in schools. And as part of these discussions, students say that they don’t want the police to play a role in their academic future. WLVR’s Genesis Ortega reports.  

In a virtual town hall last week hosted by an Allentown city councilmember, William Allen High School graduate Disley Mendez said he wants to see more councilors in schools and fewer police. He said there can be a disconnect between educators and students that many people don’t understand. 

“The black and brown kids who are going to these schools – people need to understand these kids grew up in a harsh environment, these kids have trauma and you just look at them and you just blame them for acting out. Or have one perception of them. You think oh it’s gangs it’s this it’s that and you need police – no we don’t need police we need help.”

Other students in the discussion said they are afraid of police at school and sometimes even harassed by them. 

A forum for students hosted Tuesday night by the community activist group Lehigh Valley Stands Up was aimed at creating a space for conversation on how money can be used if it doesn’t go toward policing.  

Allentown’s police chief and superintendent have previously said they are open to talking about issues with police in schools. 

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