Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Board of Ed Votes to Continue Police Contract With CPS

The board rejected a proposal to remove CPD officers from Chicago Public Schools by a 4-3 vote

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The Chicago Board of Education voted Wednesday to continue the public school district's contract with the Chicago Police Department, keeping officers in schools despite protests calling for their removal.

The board rejected a proposal to remove CPD officers from Chicago Public Schools by a 4-3 vote.

At the same time, demonstrators were shutting down streets in Chicago's Loop calling for an end to school resource officers.

Multiple demonstrations both Tuesday and Wednesday called for an end to the district's $33 million contract with CPD.

Roughly 200 students and supporters marched for hours Tuesday in Humboldt Park, calling for police-free schools. Among the protesters was Laurentio Howard, who says his teenage daughter was dragged down the stairs at a CPS high school last year by an officer demanding her cell phone.

"The CPS officers lied and said she initiated. But video shows he pulled her down the stairs," Howard said.

"It’s an historic moment in time to advance change, and take these police officers out of schools and our hope is that the mayor takes action," the Howard family's attorney said. "There’s research that they should not be in schools."

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has opposed ending the $33 million dollar contract, which would mean a blanket removal of all officers from schools.

A measure to remove them from schools failed to advance in City Council earlier this month. A group of aldermen introduced the ordinance as protests against police brutality continue across Chicago and around the world following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

CPS has said Local School Councils can review whether or not the individual schools want to keep officers in the schools, and that 72 of 93 high schools had officers, opting to retain them for the current academic year.

Officers in schools have received at least 2,354 complaints of misconduct, the ordinance said, alleging the police presence "creates dangerous conditions for students "that have led to the criminalization, mass incarceration, harassment, death, and heinous use of force against Brown and predominantly Black students."

The Chicago Teachers Union said the vote "proves what we’ve known for more than two decades: Mayoral control of our schools—under any administration—has been an unmitigated disaster."

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