Chicago Public School pushes alternatives to police in schools

By: | March 25, 2021

Months after Chicago’s school board narrowly voted to renew a multi-million dollar contract with Chicago police that left uniformed officers in dozens of high schools, school officials are revealing alternative safety recommendations developed in partnership with community organizations.

The issue of police officers patrolling public schools has been debated for years, with many students of color saying they haven’t felt safe with cops in their schools. Last year’s nationwide social justice protests in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis reignited students’ and advocates’ fight to remove officers from schools. But the Board of Education — urged by CPS leadership and Mayor Lori Lightfoot not to remove cops from all schools — ultimately voted to keep the police contract intact.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson said in a statement that the district and community groups “developed an approach that recognizes safety encompasses not only physical safety, but also emotional and relational safety as well.

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