Carbondale elementary schools suspend police visit program

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(Source: The Carbondale Southern Illinoisan)

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) – The superintendent of Carbondale schools says he has suspended a program that had police interacting with elementary school children.

Carbondale Elementary School District 95 Superintendent Mike Shimshak says he put the program on hold after learning an advisory group told city leaders to stop it. Shimshak says the Carbondale Human Relations Commission wanted more community input.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports officers would visit Carbondale’s three elementary schools, read to students or talk with them in hallways. Shimshak and Interim Police Chief Jeff Grubbs started the program in the fall hoping it would build community.

But the Racial Justice Coalition and the Carbondale branch of the NAACP say enhanced police presence has been shown to lead to criminalization of behavior that would have been handled by routine school discipline.
Information from: Southern Illinoisan