In the year after George Floyd's murder in 2020, the number of school resource officers fell as districts responded to calls for limits on police, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Education Department. The number of law enforcement officers carrying firearms dropped as well, says the Washington Post. The report from the National Center for Education Statistics examines the state of safety and security on campuses in 2021-2022, a tumultuous year for education as school leaders struggled to return to normalcy following pandemic shutdowns and confronted social justice demands after Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police.
The report found that the overwhelming majority of schools increased social and emotional supports for students affected by COVID-19 and that fewer schools provided treatment and diagnosis of mental health disorders. It found that 43 percent of high schools prohibited nonacademic uses of cellphones in school. Not surprisingly, elementary and middle schools were more likely than high schools to bar their use. Overall, the report found that 2 in 3 public schools recorded at least one violent incident in that school year, a figure statistically unchanged since 2017-2018. The highest rates were at middle schools, with 90 percent seeing at least one violent incident, compared with 85 percent of high schools and 55 percent of elementary schools. Incidents of bullying were also highest at middle schools, with 28 percent reporting general bullying at least once a week and 37 percent recording weekly cyberbullying.