Counselors NOT Cops #PoliceFreeSchools

Gov. McKee, Education Commissioner Infante-Green, and Superintendent Montañez

"Those things you see on the news, about police officers targeting people of color. That contributes to the terror; will they [SROs] do the same things too?” — current PPSD student

The Providence Alliance for Student Safety (PASS) was started in December 2019 by the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE), Providence Student Union (PSU), and Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) to fight for safe and healthy schools that treat our youth with dignity and respect. Our movement has grown, with the addition of new member organizations Youth in Action, Young Voices, and Rhode Island Urban Debate League. Our message has become more critical than ever due the rise of police violence in our country - we demand Counselors Not Cops in our schools.

We are outraged with the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Aubrey, and the countless Black individuals who have fallen victim to police brutality and anti-blackness hatred. As we mourn the community members we have lost, we must also work quickly to ensure the true safety of our community. So we ask you to help us in amplifying our demands for Counselors Not Cops.

PASS needs your help to stop the criminalization of our youth. Read our demands, sign the petition to tell Providence leaders that it’s time to rethink school safety, and share with your folks.

Providence Alliance for Student Safety demands the following from the City of Providence:

  1. Remove all School Resource Officers (SROs) from Providence schools

    1. Prevent armed officers, security officers, and/or police from being stationed in schools.
    2. Eliminate the 8 person SRO presence currently rotating among Providence schools under a contract between the Providence Police Department and the Providence School Department.
    3. Use funding currently allocated for SROs within the Providence Police Department to support the hiring of the new health and safety staff described below.

  2. Hire health and safety staff focused on alternative measures for conflict resolution
    Create safe and healthy schools through Positive Safety and Conduct strategies, which includes hiring health and safety staff who focus on alternative measures for conflict resolution.

    1. Hire community intervention workers, behavior interventionists, and/or restorative justice coordinators for a ratio of 250 students or fewer per health and safety staffer.
    2. These health and safety staff will be in charge of creating a unique safety plan based on restorative justice that meets the schools’ individual needs. These plans should include a peer mediator component.

  3. Increase the number of support staff in schools

    1. Hire school guidance counselors, nurses and mental health providers each for a ratio of 150 students or fewer per support staff, with specific staffing plans for unique schools.
    2. Mental health providers should be available as a resource for teachers as well as students.
    3. Support staff must represent and reflect the demographics of the student body.
    4. Ensure newly hired school support staff undergo restorative justice training that reflects the Providence Schools Code of Conduct.
"When you walk in, there is an officer right there. Like I am being targeted like I’m not a student but a criminal. You already get racially profiled in your neighborhood and then you see officers in school. And if you walk away, you are going to look suspicious.” — recent PPSD alumni


The vast majority of arrests (about 92%) at Providence Public Schools were of students of color. Black (non-Hispanic) students are disproportionately represented, making up 16% of overall PPSD enrollment and 30% of all student arrests.

When looking at race and gender together, about 64% of all student arrests were males of color. Hispanic males make up 36% of total PPSD enrollment and 44% of student arrests; Black (non-Hispanic) males make up 8% of PPSD enrollment and 19% of student arrests.

Our other findings included:

  • Over one-third of all charges made in student arrests (36%) were for “Disorderly Conduct.”
  • About one-third (33%) of arrests came from one high school - Mount Pleasant.
  • Students ages 11 to 13 account for 19% of student arrests.

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To: Gov. McKee, Education Commissioner Infante-Green, and Superintendent Montañez
From: [Your Name]

Re: PASS calls on Governor McKee, Commissioner Infante-Green, and Superintendent Montañez to terminate all school police contracts in Providence and surrounding cities and towns in Rhode Island.