It’s official…the inmates are running the asylum…
A police department in Northampton, Massachusetts is ending its “High-Five Friday” program at local elementary schools due to concerns that “undocumented children” and others may feel “uncomfortable” seeing an officer at school.
The program, started by the Northampton Police Department in December, had officers stand outside of a school each Friday morning to high-five students as they walked in to begin the day. –WFB
Today was High-5 Friday at Bridge St School! Thanks to everyone who participated! The kids and officers all had fun! #highfive
Here are a few tweets that were sent out by the NPD highlighting their “high-five” program with kids:
— Northampton Police (@NorthamptonPD) December 9, 2016
— Northampton Police (@NorthamptonPD) January 6, 2017
Here is part of their Facebook explanation for doing away with the “high-five” program:
While we received a lot of support on social media, we also heard a few concerns about the program. Chief Kasper was invited to attend a school committee meeting to explain the program and to field questions. During that meeting, a concern was raised that not all kids may feel comfortable with a police presence at the beginning of their school day. Others questioned the long-term impacts of the program and wondered if it was truly valuable. Shortly after the meeting, NPD was asked to pause the program, which we did.
Chief Kasper was then invited to attend a follow-up meeting with members of the public to discuss High Five Fridays. About 12-15 people attended the meeting. Concerns were shared that some kids might respond negatively to a group of uniformed officers at their school. People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children, or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police. After the meeting, Chief Kasper and Superintendent Provost spoke and decided to stop the High Five Friday, but they remain committed to exploring alternative programs.
NPD really enjoyed greeting kids as they arrived at school. But, as much as we enjoyed the visits, we also took time to listen to the thoughts of some school committee members, school staff, and past and present parents/families. For a large portion of our population this program may not seem controversial. However, we cannot overlook the fact that this program may be received differently by some members of our community. Most importantly, we want kids to arrive at school enthusiastic and ready to learn!
Luckily, we still accept high fives, low fives, and fist bumps. If you see any of us out there on the streets, feel free to ask for one!
This is the same Northampton Police Department by the way, that celebrated the great turn-out for the nasty women march that was really about protesting Trump and defending abortion. Does it make you feel any safer when you see a police department bragging about their promotion of lawless liberal politics?