Here’s why police in Mass. town no longer high five elementary school students

Here’s why police in Mass. town no longer high five elementary school students
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Last December, the city of Northampton (Mass.) Police Department initiated a program intended to reinforce among young children the ideas that the police are on their side and there to protect them. Called “High Five Fridays,” the simple ritual entailed having of an officer come to the elementary school and high-five students in line.

The program was designed to foster positive relations between members of law enforcement and the community’s youngest citizens, so who could object? For answers, let’s go to the videotape, as Warner Wolf might say:

According to the accompanying article at the website of station WWLP:

No more “High Five Fridays” at Northampton schools

[M]ore than a dozen people expressed worries about how the weekly police presence may be interpreted negatively by young people of color, undocumented children, or children who may have had negative interactions with the police in the past.

Now why would “young people of color” view the presence of police in a negative light? Oh, that’s right. It’s worth noting, by the way, that Northampton is 90% white.

As for the “undocumented” children, the only reason they would have for fearing authority is that their parents or other adults in their lives have told them that their families are here illegally and are in danger of being sent away. Maybe illegal immigrants would be better off keeping their fears to themselves.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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