Gang awareness presentations are often made by SROs to school staff as “Professional Development”. Having sat in on these, they include slides of colours, numbers, letters, and logos to equip staff with identifiers of gang-involvement. This directly influences the criminalization of largely BIPOC students as staff are made to feel welcome to alert the SRO when they see these identifiers. I remember coming out of the presentation with a problematic fascination for gang activity. And that’s one of the most horrifying problems- police involvement in schools has a slow and quiet influence on staff that can inform your practice without you even realizing it.

Teacher