Defund the Police
created by: Katie O' Connor
My pictures for my collage were found through google searches or through articles that discussed my topic. I used Canva to create a collage of images of how police are overfunded and public school systems are underfunded. On the left, I have images of how police are overfunded, such as, such as tear gas, militarized gear, trucks, etc. On the right, there are images of how public schools are underfunded, such as outdated books and leaks in ceilings. Putting these images side by side is meant to visualize for people how public schools are struggling to teach the next generation with the amount of resources they are given, compared to the police who have gear that they do not need.
This art was created in support of the Defund the Police movement. There are misconceptions about the movement, a big one being that the movement is meant to get rid police officers as a whole. The Defund the Police movement only wants the extra tax dollars that are being wasted on police departments to go to social services that aren’t getting enough funding, such as the education system. The education system is severely underfunded, yet it is crucial in building up the next generation. I hope these images help people see the injustices that are in the system. I want people to correct those misconceptions that they might have, as well as other. I want people to stop being silent and have a voice in where they think the extra funds should be going (e.g. education, housing, etc.)
As mentioned previously, on the left side, there are images examples of how the police departments are overfunded with American citizen tax dollars, and on the right, there are images of the struggles that public schools are going through by being underfunded. There are a few images of police officers that are in the middle of protests, they are equipped with heavy gear such as machine guns, sniper rifles, tear gas, etc. These tactics are unnecessary for peaceful protests and are also unnecessary for them to use otherwise. Since 1990, police departments have received a $7.4 billion surplus of military gear due to the 1033 Program. This program allows police to apply to get militarized gear (e.g. night vision goggles, mine-resistant vehicles, military rifles) that the military no longer needs or didn’t need in the first place.
While the police are being granted military weapons, teachers are often not getting reimbursed for their classroom supplies. On average, a teacher spends $459 of their own money to fund their classes (Kenney, 2020). The images on the right are devastating. The white building pictured was meant to be a temporary building for a school located in Aurora, Colorado, that is still there 15 years later. The image of the markers on jars is an art teacher located in Tennessee that is trying to make the best of old supplies by putting used markers in these jars to create watercolors for their students(Sedgwick, 2018). All these images come together to paint a picture of how the police departments are overfunded and the extra taxpayer money should go to those in need before it goes to them.
There’s a stronger link to the police departments and the education system than taxpayers' money. People often fail to overlook the fact that better education lessons the chance that someone will commit a crime. One study published in 2008 found thatif graduation rates increased by 10 percent, there would be almost 175,000 prevented aggravated assaults and more than 3,000 prevented murders in America every year(Boatwright, 2020). This means that putting more money into the education system will lower the crime rates, therefore, the police departments would not need as much funding to fight crime. It’s pertinent to get the public to understand this issue because otherwise they are tricked by fear into thinking that the crime levels keep increasing due to there being bad people out there. What people need to know is that poor communities that didn’t get the same education opportunities as others often resort to criminal activities because they have no other means of survival.