Chicago Board Removes Police Officers From Schools

Empty school classroom

( – The Board of Education for the city of Chicago voted on February 22nd to terminate its involvement with the police department providing resource officers to help secure schools. The police have been involved with the educational system since the early 1990s and it’s been argued that having uniformed officers (SROs) on premises regularly maintains good behavior among students.

There were only officers serving 39 schools out of the city’s total of 634, the contentious 8-hour school board offered administrations, students, and teachers the opportunity to speak on the subject. Students reported that the police were frightening, which is precisely the point of having them there.

Anti-police speakers also claimed that school resource officers “targeted minorities” and failed to improve school safety. They wanted to defund the program and use the money elsewhere. Opponents of removing police from schools disagreed, claiming they did, in fact, improve school safety and suggested the decision belonged to each school individually.

Ultimately the board sided with removing police from the role, they’re going to hire independent contractors in positions they’re calling “restorative justice coordinator” and “youth intervention specialist.” Police will still maintain working relationships with schools in their district in the event a violent outburst requires their intervention, however.

In January, the city board moved to shift the authority for whether or not a school can have an SRO from individual local councils unto itself. Observers speculated that was a precursor to eliminating the SROs across all city schools and advocates admitted that was precisely their intention.

Schools already had the authority to terminate their use of SROs and many did in the wake of the George Floyd riots in 2020. It seems to be that leftists in government positions are eager to eliminate cops at schools due to a perception that police are bad actors who make students feel unsafe.

Regardless, Alderman Nicholas Sposato said that he was told Chicago Public Schools will likely renew its contract with police leaving the eventual outcome somewhat of a mystery for now.

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