Illinois House Approves Bill To Replace School Cops With Social Workers

Illinois House Approves Bill To Replace School Cops With Social Workers

Photo via Cedar Rapids Gazette

The Land of Lincoln finished dead last among the 50 states in passing a concealed carry law. And like California, Illinois enjoys a lot of misguided thinking from those who look at guns like fresh dog droppings. Now, the Democrat majority brain trust in the Illinois House passed a bill that would replace armed school resource officers with social workers.

Illinois House Approves Bill To Replace School Cops With Social Workers

Yes, Illinois state representative Chris Welch (pictured above) introduced HB-4208 with lots of his fellow Democrats as co-sponsors.  The bill would award grant monies to districts that did away with armed school resource officers and replaced them with social workers.

To hear him tell it (from his bill):

The General Assembly recognizes that (i) many K-12 students around the State are arrested in school and sent into the justice system, often for minor offenses that do not pose a serious threat to school safety; (ii) many schools across the State have become overly reliant on law enforcement personnel
to handle routine school disciplinary matters; (iii) many student behaviors that result in arrest in some schools are addressed without involving the justice system in others; (iv) the overcriminalization of K-12 students has had significant negative consequences for students, families, and entire
communities; (v) these dynamics, known as the “school-to-prison pipeline”, have disproportionately affected students of color; (vi) these practices impose substantial economic costs on both localities and the State overall; (vii) the use of school-based law enforcement has not been proven effective as a strategy to promote safe and productive schools; and (viii) eliminating unnecessary school-based arrests and law enforcement presence in school while promoting the use of developmentally appropriate alternatives will protect school safety, improve school climate, raise academic achievement, and save taxpayer dollars.

These new social workers would “better address the full range of students’ intellectual, social, emotional, physical, psychological, and moral developmental needs.”

For those not yet full “woke,” these social workers can come in many flavors. They include “restorative justice practitioners, school psychologists, social workers, and other mental and behavioral health specialists, providing drug and alcohol treatment services and wraparound services for youth…”

For those paying attention, does this sound like some of the utterly failed practices present in Broward County Schools?  You know, those very same “restorative justice approaches” that allowed the Parkland school killer to escape the criminal justice system and later launch his murder spree?

Why yes, they do. From a March 1, 2018 Real Clear Investigations investigative report:

Broward school Superintendent Robert W. Runcie – a Chicagoan and Harvard graduate with close ties to President Obama and his Education Department – signed an agreement with the county sheriff and other local jurisdictions to trade cops for counseling. Students charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, would now be disciplined through participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.

Asserting that minority students, in particular, were treated unfairly by traditional approaches to school discipline, Runcie’s goal was to slash arrests and ensure that students, no matter how delinquent, graduated without criminal records.

And yes, under Chicagoan Robert Runcie’s leadership, Broward schools practiced “restorative justice”.  Also from the Real Clear report:

Additional literature reveals that students referred to PROMISE for in-school misdemeanors – including assault, theft, vandalism, underage drinking and drug use – receive a controversial alternative punishment known as restorative justice.

“Rather than focusing on punishment, restorative justice seeks to repair the harm done,” the district explains. Indeed, it isn’t really punishment at all. It’s more like therapy. Delinquents gather in “healing circles” with counselors, and sometimes even the victims of their crime, and talk about their feelings and “root causes” of their anger.

Students who participate in the sessions and respond appropriately to difficult situations are rewarded by counselors with prizes called “choice rewards,” which they select in advance. Parents are asked to chip in money to help pay for the rewards.

How has the program worked, aside from its most spectacular failure with the Parkland school killer? From another Real Clear Investigations report dated April 15, 2018:

Broward County, Fla., school officials portray as a great success their Obama administration-inspired program offering counseling to students who break the law, instead of having them arrested or expelled. They insist that it played no role in February’s school massacre by [scumbag’s name redacted]. They also claim that in fact juvenile recidivism rates are down and school safety is up, thanks to the program.

The evidence tells a far different story.

Broward County juvenile justice division records, federal studies of Broward school district safety and the district’s own internal reporting show that years of “intensive” counseling didn’t just fail to reform repeat offender [scumbag’s name redacted], who allegedly went on to shoot and kill 17 people at his high school. Records show such policies have failed to curtail other campus violence and its effects now on the rise in district schools — including fighting, weapons use, bullying and related suicides.

Meanwhile, murders, armed robberies and other violent felonies committed by children outside of schools have hit record levels, and some see a connection with what’s happening on school grounds. Since the relaxing of discipline, Broward youths have not only brazenly punched out their teachers, but terrorized Broward neighborhoods with drive-by shootings, gang rapes, home invasions and carjackings.

Yes, Illinois Representative Welch want to embrace the failed disciplinary model adopted by Broward County. Not only that, but he wants to do so by awarding grants to districts that redirect funding from armed school resource officers to unarmed social workers. And 63 other Illinois legislators agree with him.

Of course, these same legislators refuse to consider passing meaningful legislation to allow armed and trained school staff to carry discretely in schools.  Clearly nobody’s ever explained to them what happens when you show up at a gunfight with a social worker instead of a firearm.

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, failures like these cost lives. Which makes you wonder, why play these games with the lives of our school children?


  1. avatar General Zod says:

    Ah, yes. The “No Child Left Alive” program…

    1. avatar former water walker says:

      You win the interwebz!!! So happy my kids are grown…

    2. avatar Mort says:

      yapp… dees a weener

      …healing circles… these people are dumber than rocks.

  2. avatar DrewR55 says:

    Well yeah, of course. The State needs a violent criminal class to use as a threat against the law abiding public. The logic of the State and their minions is that the public can rely on their benign good will or they can be at the mercy of the criminal class.

    1. avatar Lost Down South says:

      “…have disproportionately affected students of color…”

      And why would that be?

  3. avatar Sian says:

    Illinois: We saw what happened in Parkland and Broward County, that seems like a really good action model to emulate. Fewer cops, keep students who belong in jail out of jail.

    1. avatar Baldwin says:

      Beat me to it. So true.

    2. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Leftists always seem to double down instead of rethinking, don’t they? So, either they are not rational actors, or they are getting the results they want. At least one of those must be true.

      1. avatar Gordon in MO says:

        You just stated the truth.

        The left always adamantly oppose anything that would actually help protect children in schools because they want children to die. Then they use the event to push their agenda; disarmed subjects not armed citizens.

        Always keep in mind, the ultimate goal of the left (progressives, communists, democrats, whatever you want to call them) is destruction of America….”for the children”.

        Be Prepared!

  4. avatar dlj95118 says:

    …”healing circles”.

    Reminds me of this fool:

    The kid gets it. The dad, not so much.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      I saw ‘obstacle courses’ and thought “Beat someone down, then get rewarded with getting to run a cool obstacle course”. Something is wrong with this crime/punishment scenario.

      1. avatar Scoutino says:

        Crime/reward in this case. Parents are asked to chip in to buy prizes.

  5. avatar Gun Owning American says:

    Feels to the rescue

    1. avatar Phil Wilson says:

      Maybe they should invest in cry closets, like some fine institutions of higher learning:

      As silly as it seems, make the cry closet bullet resistant and able to be locked from the inside and it might actually save some lives in the event of a school shooting.

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Of course they did,bless their Leftist hearts.

  7. avatar Grace12 says:

    I will wager this is all about Chicago schools. So lets hire social workers to do what parents can’t or won’t do. Stupid in Chicago has a seven million year half life.

  8. avatar Ralph says:

    Another grifter protecting his racket. What a shock!

  9. avatar Kendahl says:

    The only place these fools can get their sh!t together is between their ears. With attitudes like theirs, is it any wonder they are hostile to self defense? Violent criminals really aren’t bad people. It’s the victims’ fault for not being nice enough to them in the first place.

    My wife got out of teaching after a couple of years in the 1970s and I understand it’s worse now. Fortunately, we never had kids of our own. The school system would have been very unhappy with my position that, as long as my kid behaved himself, assault, etc. would not be tolerated. My kid’s right to attend school in safety would take precedence over a bully’s right to an education.

  10. avatar Djm says:

    Criminals vote Democrat, when they vote.

    1. avatar Phil Schifley says:

      Republicans just vote for criminals.

  11. avatar strych9 says:

    “…many K-12 students around the State are arrested in school and sent into the justice system, often for minor offenses that do not pose a serious threat to school safety…”

    Well, you know, as a goddamn legislator you could advocate for, and draft legislation for the purpose of, the repeal of the laws criminalizing all those minor offenses…. You know, maybe do your fucking job?

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      From the videos I have seen the kids are usually slapped with Contempt of Cop charges. There have been way too many cases of grown men physically abusing half grown kids. Cops have no business being in the schools. This has nothing to do with the right to bear arms. It has to do with rolling back a small portion of the police state.

      1. avatar tdiinva says:

        Sounds to me that you are some hayseed who has no idea about what goes on an inner city school. The gangs rule the hallways even with SRO’s. Perhaps you should volunteer as a “social worker” at Chicago’s Marshall High School. You might learn something.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          Really. If there weren’t armed cops manning the metal detectors at the doors, the halls would be full of guns and knives. Just like they were before armed cops and metal detectors. Hey, who needs a deranged loner to shoot up the school when gang bangers will do it on a daily basis?

        2. avatar tdiinva says:

          The threat to school security comes from gangs nor spree shooters. They are much more circumspect with the cops around. If you want I can put you touch with a retired inner city school principal. You might learn something. She the only person I know that has a DGU under her belt.

          Your argument comes down to do away with all police because crime happens anyway so why do we need them.

        3. avatar Red in CO says:

          So then, crazy thought here, maybe the answer is to tailor the solution to the problem? You know, rather than disparaging anyone who disagrees with you and idiotically assuming all schools are inner city ganglands?

          In the one hand, yes, in certain areas, having cops who are assigned solely to a school makes sense. In the kind of schools that are large enough/rough enough where there is enough REAL crime or the potential for enough REAL crime to justify having a cop/cops there. For most schools, particularly in suburbs and rural areas, having cops assigned solely to the school does more harm than good. If there’s no real crime, a bored cop has plenty of petty bullshit laws (you know, the kind we routinely criticize here) to keep himself busy enforcing.

        4. avatar Chris Mallory says:

          “hayseed”, what other ethnic slurs do you use? Or are you just a hypocrite who only slurs against rural whites?

          Cops do not belong in schools, period.

        5. avatar Big Bill says:

          “Cops do not belong in schools, period.”

          Or even at crime scenes.
          Did you know cops are more likely to be found at crime scenes than any other class of person? Kinda makes you think, huh? If they aren’t actually committing the crimes, why are they there?
          What’s that you say? They are investigating crimes? Gee, maybe they do that at schools, too. Whaddyathink?

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      You mean minor crimes like assault, rape and extortion?

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Those are crimes. Telling a teacher to fuxx off is not a crime, nor should it be.

    3. avatar strych9 says:

      The point remains that if this particular official believes, as he claims to, that minor crimes are being made into major issues then it’s his duty to try to repeal the laws that make those minor behaviors criminal activity.

      He’s not doing that. Ergo he’s not really serving his constituents but rather offering to paper over their problems.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        Maybe you don’t understand how Democrats work.
        He doesn’t want to repeal any laws, because all laws make victims out of people. If they did away with victims, the Dems would have nothing to do. They’d be superfluous. They’d have no platform to run on other than hatred for all things Republican.
        Instead, he’s doing what Dems are supposed to do: stand up for the victims.
        he knows full well that allowing these victims to continue in their criminal ways will only make them more victimly, so he can help them more later on, when they are in prison. Plus, there are the victims of these victims!
        It’s a true self-supporting system.

  12. avatar Rick says:

    Agree with ALL of the other comments. This is the liberal idea that ALL ARE GOOD and criminal behavior is caused by social wrongs. Law like religion has two components; 1 – you want to be good so you follow the rules or 2 – your scared of the retribution that bad behavior brings. We need both in the legal system. So, a kid believes that he can get away with felonious behavior because he or she is only a child. This is why the gangs recruit the younger kids. Justice is suppose to be equal, why then is the ‘pipeline’ disproportionally a minority problem? Any kid who commits a felony should be punished in the legal system.

  13. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The bill would award grant monies to districts that did away with armed school resource officers and replaced them with social workers.

    Huh, sounds like a suicide pact to me.

    Perhaps they need BOTH???

    This is the equivalent of a medical treatment strategy for obesity that consists of eliminating emergency medicine staff (who treat the inevitable heart attacks that come with obesity) and replacing them with nutritionists to prevent obesity.

  14. avatar John J. McCarthy, Jr. says:

    Maybe they will arm the social workers with those stupid little bats given to teachers in some God-forsaken school district.

    The little bats cause the wielders to feel good about themselves just before they get their brains blowed all over the place.

  15. avatar TommyG says:

    They have to do this. If there is armed police presence in the schools there won’t be any mass shootings. If there are not mass shootings they will never be able to make a case for civilian disarmament. Without civilian disarmament they will never able to ram their socialist agenda down the countries throat.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      I’m afraid you might be right.

  16. avatar Larry Macneal says:

    The hug-a-thug philosophy. Thank you demafools.

  17. avatar little horn says:

    wow. just. wow.

  18. avatar CTstooge says:

    Damn. They really do want bad shit to happen.

  19. avatar Lcsw says:

    Im a social worker, this is a stupid idea.

  20. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    We need more 3rd graders in hand-cuffs according to most of you. A sad shape this nation has gotten in.

    1. avatar Castor Vulgaris says:

      Wow, that one’s right up there with: “Mike Brown was a gentle giant…” “Travon was a sweet little boy who really just wanted some skittles…” and every violent sociopath who “Din do nuffin…” and “… was turning his life around…” or was “… on his way home from choir practice”. What color is the sky in your world?

      1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

        Trayvon got what he deserved. As for Brown, the cop should not have been armed to begin with.
        Citizens should be armed, not cops.

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Yeah, and all those sweet little 3rd grade pictures of Trayvon posted by MSN were totally accurate when Zimmerman shot him.
      Wife has taught at inner city schools and they are jungles.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        Yep, because every school in the nation is an inner city gangland right?

    3. avatar Big Bill says:

      I don’t remember anyone saying anything about third graders, much less about them belonging in cuffs.
      Except you.
      Try harder.

  21. avatar Castor Vulgaris says:

    Have any of you thought that maybe the fact that this is pretty much guaranteeing another epic failure of “the system” to lock up the thugs and punks who don’t deserve to be walking among us is a feature of their plan and not the bug many of you seem to think it is? Sorry for the run on, but given how effective the Parkland “survivors” have been, I think they actually want another one. I try to never assume malice, but these people make it very difficult.

  22. avatar Mark N. says:

    I’ve never had much use for social workers, but I suppose they make good targets.

  23. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Looks like a lot of teachers and kids are going to be juicy targets.
    This is not a bug, this is a feature.
    Only more gun control will fix the problem.

  24. avatar Ironhead says:

    So glad i am moving out of this shit hole. Tennessee baby!

  25. avatar Bersa Bob says:

    Are they going to ride unicorns to school now too ?

    1. avatar dlj95118 says:

      …only if they fart rainbow sherbet.

  26. avatar barnbwt says:

    Maybe they can fling pamphlets about subsidized abortion services at the next mass shooter. Catch him in the eye with a corner during a reload, he’s gonna know what hit him!

  27. avatar tinhats says:

    (After 30 years in the Air Force) I am a high school teacher with nearly 20 years experience. One thing I have recognized is that the most troublesome students are not concerned one hoot with school programs or punishment. The only thing that fixes the problem for the betterment of the entire school climate and the ability to teach a class, is the arrest and alternate placement of the delinquent/criminal.

  28. avatar Hannibal says:

    I don’t believe in trying to make cops into social workers, or social workers into cops.

    There’s a need for both, at different times, with different ‘customers’.

  29. avatar Warlocc says:

    Honestly, adding more resources to a school isn’t a bad idea. Trained counselors could help a situation, absolutely.

    Getting rid of the security though? It’s like they want more dead bodies.

  30. avatar DaveL says:

    There’s some truth to the “school-prison pipeline” phenomenon. Take typical disruptive behavior, add powers of arrest, and you’ve got “disorderly conduct”. What was defiance and back-talk to a teacher becomes “resisting arrest” to a police officer. And with that comes a criminal record, not to mention whatever “reasonable force” is required to put the student in handcuffs.

    But theft or assault? Those are real crimes, not just classroom misbehavior that magically got transformed into a crime because a police officer was present. Turning a blind eye to such things is just asking for trouble.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      There’s a problem with your analysis: talking back to a teacher doesn’t need to become disorderly conduct. That’s a choice on the part of the student.
      Yes, bad choices are a part of growing up. But then, so is learning about the consequences of those bad choices. Accepting one, and discarding the other is bad policy.

  31. avatar RAN 58 says:

    Que up the song from West Side Story, “Gee, Officer Krupke”. The social worker in the lyrics knew what to so with these juveniles.

  32. avatar AFGus says:

    These people are freaking morons. It’s almost as if they never watch or read the news. Geeesh! smdh

  33. avatar Face Palm III, Esq. says:

    I have read the original news story, and all the comments here, and you people are missing the point: the schools WILL be safer without the guns. It has been proven by years of school assaults that guns are not the answer.
    By replacing all of the LEO’s and other armed personnel with twice the number of “Social Workers”, NO idiot will dare open fire in the school, as every “Social Worker”, will be well trained in crises management, and they will come to school prepared with psychology, empathy, a little tiny souvenir baseball bat, and TWO, not just one, but TWO buckets of rocks!

  34. avatar Sharky says:

    I’m all for them adding counselors or social workers or whatever, just lock the doors while class is in session so they are safe during school hours. Kids can exit, they just can’t come back in without going through the admin office. Many schools adopted this policy years ago because kids were being taken out of school by parents during custody disputes. Lock the doors, dummies.

  35. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Let’s be honest.

    Could social workers have been any LESS effective than the Broward County Sheriff’s Department?

  36. avatar Jim Davis says:

    It’s unreal. I fully support charging them with the infractions that would ban them from, say, legally buying an AR and shooting up the school. And, granted, some SRO’s dont respond to shooters, I’d definitely rather have an armed SRO at my kids school…, but I’m preaching to the choir. I’m not even sure why I posted….

  37. avatar dpk54 says:

    What on earth do people expect from this hellhole of a state??? Let’s just give these thugs who perpetrate these crimes a big hug, hmmm??? Sure hope “counselors” are willing to quite possibly die in a bad situation…unarmed, untrained and unable to mount any sort of defense….Lord, I’m so glad my kids are no longer in school, especially in Illinois….I’d be home-schooling for certain these days!!!!

  38. I prefer using troops.

    They were effective in keeping the peace at Little Rock Central High in the ’50’s.

  39. avatar crzapy says:

    Look, I work with SPED (special education) kids with mental and behavioral problems as well as learning disabilities.
    Today we had two behavioral interventionists and a social worker attacked by a SPED kid who punched the social worker in the jaw and another in the ribs.
    In the end we had to call the school resource officer to physically detain the kid, who is huge.

    So, there are social workers in schools, who do great work, but in the end we also need cops in schools because some of these kids are literally psychotic

    This is feel good bull$**+ legislation that will get someone seriously hurt.

  40. avatar Salty Bear says:

    At least the cops are gone.

  41. avatar Scott Wardwell says:

    The cops were not part of the Teacher’s Union. The Social Workers will be. Need campaign dues in time for the mid-terms. Need to finance that Blue Wave.

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