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First-grade students in the Des Moines Public School students were subjected to the following presentation about School Resource Officers in late 2020. The presentation was delivered shortly after Thanksgiving, or as the presentation called it, “Truthsgiving 2020.”

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The first-grade students were told they were discussing SROs because all three schools have student resource officers. The presentation was given by Urban Leadership and it took place at Phillips Elementary School.

“Right now in DMPS, students are pushing back against having police in schools for different reasons,” one slide said. “We wanted to include you guys and your good ideas in the process!”

Students are asked what they come to school to do, who and what helps them throughout the school day and who and what distracts them throughout the school day.

The image shows a law enforcement officer with his ASP baton drawn.

Students are asked what they think the district should use money for, and then are told SROs in schools cost DMPS and the City of Des Moines $1.5 million a year.

Coincidentally, a piggy bank is shown on that slide.

Students are then asked if they think having a cop in school helps or distracts them from learning. Pictured is a green checkmark with a sign that says safety first. And then a red ‘X’ in another box with an image of a “school to prison pipeline.”

The presentation asked where the $1.5 million could be used in DMPS instead of on SROs. They were then told 1.7 million kids are in schools with cops but no counselors, 3 million kids are in schools with cops but no nurse and 10 million kids are in schools with cops but no social worker.

The next slide answers why students are “pushing back” against SROs. According to the slide, throughout DMPS:

*Black students are 2.6 times more likely to be arrested at school
*Latino students are 1.2 times more likely to be arrested at school
*Multiracial students are 2 times more likely to be arrested at school… when compared to White students.

“EVEN THOUGH DMPS IS MAJORITY WHITE STUDENT BODY!” the slide said in all caps.

It then included this slide:

The next slide blames the “criminalization of youth, excessive school policies and presence of police” for pushing youth into or deeper into the criminal justice system in what it terms the “school-to-prison-pipeline.”

And then students were told more cops in schools means more kids of color get arrested and more people of color end up in prison.

We asked the district if it had any sort of statement to offer on this presentation being given to first-grade students. We also asked if parents were presented with the information prior to it being given to students.

We’ll update this story or publish an update after hearing back from the district.

Author: Jacob Hall

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1 COMMENT

  1. People that leave their kids in public school to be indoctrinated by the government have abdicated their first responsibility as a parent which is to protect their kids. And I don’t want to hear how it’s impossible to homeschool kids or it’s too expensive, it’s called sacrifice. I sacrificed to home school my kids . It is possible. We school during the day and I work the graveyard shift at a local business, and we were able to make it work. That was long before schools helped you with anything as far as homeschooling. It is possible, you have to put your kids first. And leaving them in public school is enlisting them for government indoctrination. And your kids depend on you to do what’s best for them. Do your job. You can also join with other homeschooling parents, and share the teaching or go together and hire a teacher. There surely are teachers within the school system that would love to get out of that tyranny and teach your kids. You will never regret it.

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