Oregon school district won’t renew contracts for police in schools

By: | March 11, 2021

The Salem-Keizer School District will no longer contract with local police departments to station officers at district schools, Superintendent Christy Perry told the school board at a meeting.

The decision comes 10 months after activists and community members, led by youth group Latinos Unidos Siempre, began pushing the district to end its contracts, which stationed 11 police officers at middle and high schools across the district at the cost of about $1 million per year. They said the presence of officers made students of color feel unsafe and contributed to a system where Black and Latino students were funneled into the criminal justice system.

Those calls led to a student task force Perry convened to make recommendations about the future of police in schools, which became another site of conflict after student members of Latinos Unidos Siempre walked out. Perry and district leaders then began surveys and discussions with educators and community groups to discuss the future of the district’s disciplinary practices and the presence of police in schools.

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