A new report from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) hyping arrests at elementary schools is being used by progressives at the DOE who want to defund police.
The report comes at a time of surging violence, especially against elementary school teachers, according to data by the DOE.
Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, said the number of elementary school arrests and referrals was “enormously distressing,” even as the number of arrests have plunged, in part due to Covid lockdowns, reported CBS News.
An analysis of the report by the national news organization revealed 125 arrests were made at elementary schools during the period 2020 to 2021.
By contrast, the period for the school years 2013 to 2014 showed 1,087 arrests, 2015 to 2016 showed 805 arrests, and 2017 to 2018 showed 715 arrests at elementary schools, according to a CBS-produced graphic.
Abuses of civil rights have often been used as a pretext for reducing police presence at schools.
And it looks like the DOE is preparing at the very least to change public policies to reduce the amount of policing at elementary schools.
“My heart is broken when I know that those kinds of circumstances take place, period,” Lhamon said, according to CBS, about the number of elementary school arrests. “And we are examining whether there’s a civil rights component to it that needs to be addressed as part of our job in the Civil Rights Office of the Department of Education.”
Lhamon’s comments are likely the opening salvo of a public relations move by the Biden regime to force a change in policing policies from the national level.
It is similar to the tactic the Biden administration is using with Title IX civil rights protections to force local school boards to adopt pro-transgender policies.
“In the summer of 2020, Denver school leaders quickly banished police officers from campuses and directed the funds toward social workers and psychologists,” reported the New York Times in June. “The city, like many across the nation, was roiled by protests against law enforcement after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.”
Since then, however, school districts “from Alexandria, Va, to Pomona, Calif” have restored police to schools as crime continues to surge, said the Times.
In January 2022, an Education Week survey found that “two out of three teachers, principals, and district leaders say students are misbehaving more these days than they did in the fall of 2019.”
While the headlines suggest that the only problem with violence in schools is fueled by guns, the number of active shooter incidents remains relatively small from 2000 to 2021, said a report from the DOE.
However, the same report shows an alarming trend at elementary schools, the very place the DOE’s civil rights division is targeting.
In the 2020 to 2021 school year, attacks on teachers at elementary schools came at much higher rates than they did at the secondary school level.
At the elementary school level, 7.6% of teachers reported threats of bodily injury, for the period, versus 3.9% for secondary schools, while 6.9% of elementary school teachers reported being physically attacked, versus just 1.4% of secondary school teachers, said the report.