Northampton police Stopped ‘High Five Fridays’ due to police presence at Massachusetts schools

High Five Fridays have been stopped by Northampton police since many are concerned about police presence at the schools.Northampton PoliceDepartment shared a post on their official Facebook page elaborating the same.

The high five program was ‘a concept involves police officers welcoming kids to school and giving them high fives on Friday mornings before school begins. It was presented as an inexpensive (aka free) way for police officers to positively engage with youth in their communities and to show support for local schools. We loved the idea!’

Northampton officers were present at four different elementary schools in the town. They welcomed students with high fivein order to create a positive bond with them.

According to the post, ‘concern was raised that not all kids may feel comfortable with a police presence at the beginning of their school day. People were specifically concerned about kids of color, undocumented children, or any children who may have had negative experiences with the police.’

The department said that the decision to end the high five program was taken after meeting with parents and administrators.'(We) remain committed to exploring alternative programs,’ said Chief Kasper.

The post concluded, ‘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!’

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