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“I’m Just a Friend Now”: Community Policing in Toronto Schools

  • Gita Rao MadanEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In 2008, fully armed and uniformed police officers (called School Resource Officers, or SROs) were deployed to 30 public high schools in Toronto to patrol the hallways on a full-time basis. Situated from within the ongoing community-based struggle to remove the permanent presence of police from schools, Madan argues that the race-absent discourse of “relationship building” used by policing and educational institutions to legitimize the program obscures the more insidious functions of SRO policing. These include: the criminalization of racialized, particularly Black, Indigenous, and undocumented students, and the entrenchment of the school-to-prison pipeline; the naturalization of police presence in the school spaces of racialized youth; and the surveillance and disciplinary enforcement activities of SROs. As such, this chapter critically interrogates how the relationship-building approach works to humanize individual officers while decontextualizing SROs from the ongoing structural violence that racialized communities experience at the hands of the police.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TorontoCanada

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