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Democrats Learn a Lesson on School Safety in Virginia

Mental health professionals are no substitute for the police, city lawmakers learn

• October 19, 2021 5:00 am

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The Alexandria, Va., public school system learned a quick lesson in cause and effect: Fewer cops means more crime.

In May, driven by concerns of the "school to prison pipeline," the lawmakers voted to remove police from Alexandria's public schools. Last week, local lawmakers convened an emergency session and voted to reinstate armed school resource officers, at least until the end of the year, after a student brought a loaded gun into Alexandria City High School.

Those who attended the city council meeting to debate bringing back the cops on campus recounted horrifying stories. One student shared a video of her brother getting beaten in the middle of the school day. He ended up in the hospital and is now scared to return to class.

"He said that he's actually really scared to die," the student said of her brother. "He's thought about even bringing pepper spray in school because he just feels that it's a need."

Alexandria is a microcosm of what is transpiring nationwide. Schools around the country face a crisis of on-campus violence, with a September survey indicating that threats of violence between students surged 104 percent in the 2020-2021 school year. The rise coincides with school districts across the country, including in major cities such as Los Angeles, voting to remove police from schools.

A year ago many parents were begging schools to open their doors. Now they're begging left-wing lawmakers to let their kids actually learn without fear of violence. Back to basics.

Such is a familiar pattern for the left. Only after confronted with the grim reality of their pro-crime policies do they finally relent and drop the academic jargon about how cops are somehow responsible for violence.

The decision to remove police from schools came from the top. President Joe Biden ran on ending "the school to prison pipeline"—an activist mantra that really means he's willing to sacrifice the safety and wellbeing of public school students to coddle thugs and criminals who express little interest in learning. And he assured us that doubling the number of "mental health professionals" would serve as a better deterrent for violence than simply enforcing the law.

The president—and his acolytes in Alexandria—are wrong, and starting with next month's gubernatorial race in Virginia, voters must decide whether they're willing to trade the safety of our children for idealistic liberal policy proposals.