The Moran Center releases report outlining recommendations to create a safer, more restorative, and racially equitable school community at Evanston Township High School (“ETHS”); urges ETHS to remove the two Police Officers from campus.
Evanston, Ill.–The Moran Center for Youth Advocacy has announced the release of its comprehensive report about school safety at Evanston Township High School (ETHS), Reimagining School Safety—Recommendations to Create Safer, More Restorative, and Racially Equitable School Community. In the report, the Moran Center presents a vision to reimagine school safety at ETHS by terminating its Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Evanston for the assignment of on-campus School Resource Officers (“SROs”) and building an infrastructure of support and restoration for each student at ETHS. The report is being released in advance of a discussion regarding ETHS’s School Resource Officer Program at the December 13th ETHS School Board meeting.
In the Reimagining School Safety report, the Moran Center presents relevant national research that calls into question School Resource Officer Programs based on school safety, academic, and social-emotional metrics. The report also recaps key findings from recently reported SRO and arrest data at ETHS, illustrating the disparate racial impact of ETHS’s SRO Program. The report also outlines concerns regarding ETHS’s overreliance on punitive discipline policies and highlights three specific policies that disproportionately impact students of color and students with disabilities, pushing these students into the school-to-prison pipeline. Ultimately, the Reimagining School Safety report presents proven alternative models for building a safer, more restorative, and racially equitable school community at ETHS.
As community-based juvenile and emerging adult defenders, as advocates for children with special needs, as social workers, and as restorative justice practitioners, the Moran Center is uniquely positioned to provide input on ETHS’s SRO Program, discipline policies, and their impact on Black and Brown students and students with disabilities. Moran Center Executive Director Patrick Keenan-Devlin said, “It is our hope that this report will both inform the community about the harmful impact of SROs and certain discipline policies at ETHS, as well as communicate our vision for reimagining school safety by prioritizing restorative justice, trauma-informed practices, and robust mental health services.”
The Reimagining School Safety report has been previously shared with the ETHS School Board, members of ETHS’s administration, and ETHS’s Discipline Committee and SRO Subcommittee. The Moran Center has had staff members serve on both committees.
The Moran Center for Youth Advocacy provides community-based legal, social work, and restorative services for youth and families. Our approach is holistic, healing-centered, client-driven. Our work advances the vision of a more just, racially equitable, and restorative society at the local, regional, and state level. As part of our work, the Moran Center advocates for Evanston youth to ensure that they receive an equitable education with the educational supports and services they need.