Mayor Brandon Johnson Of Chicago Is In Favor Of Taking Police Out Of Schools

In an interview on Tuesday, Chicago’s mayor declared that he was in favour of taking police officers out of classrooms.

Mayor Brandon Johnson Of Chicago Is In Favor Of Taking Police Out Of Schools

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson backed the city’s Board of Education’s decision to sever ties with the Chicago Police Department in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ.

Chicago Public School (CPS) officials reportedly advised principals to get ready for the possibility of police officers being removed by the fall of next year.

“The Board of Education is moving in the direction that I do support,” the mayor said. “There is an intergovernmental agreement between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department. To end that agreement, there’s no qualms from me there.”

The CPS and the police department entered into a $10.3 million deal, and since then, their relationship has been seen as contentious.

To respond to any threats to children, CPS officials are considering the possibility of having “roving units” of police officers patrol the areas around schools in place of school officers.

It was revealed earlier in January that the Chicago Board of Education was attempting to take away the authority Local School Councils—groups composed of parents, educators, and students—had to decide whether or not to have school resource officers (SROs) at their schools. According to local broadcaster WBEZ, the board would withdraw all officers from school grounds after removing the decision from local governments.

It has been said that the decision to take away Local School Councils’ authority to determine whether to maintain SROs undermines the democratic process involved in making choices about local schools.

Mark Grishaber, the principal of Taft High School, expressed concerns with the proposed choice, emphasizing that their top priority is safety.

Grishaber referenced a survey that revealed that 80–90% of his school’s parents, teachers, and students support having police officers in their classrooms. Even if he was in favour of SROs, he said, he had been informed that the board had already “made its decision.”

Taft High School was one of the few schools to vote to keep cops on campus when other schools decided to do away with them in 2020.

Johnson said during his mayoral campaign that “armed officers have no place in schools, in communities already struggling with over-incarceration, criminalization, profiling and mistrust.” Johnson also denounced the presence of police officers on school property.

After being elected, Johnson did, however, eventually back local school councils holding votes on whether or not to allow police officers in classrooms.

It is reported that the Chicago Board of Education will decide this summer whether to extend the police contract.

Amidst the George Floyd protests, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) pushed for the removal of police officers from schools in 2020.

“These students along with the parents, teachers and staff that support them have looked at the data, experienced the brutality and are calling for police-free schools,” the CTU said in a statement in June 2020. “Members of the CPS community are calling on the $33 million contract between CPS and CPD to be better used for restorative justice coordinators, social workers, nurses, trauma supports and other critical programs in schools.”

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