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State Board Of Education Voted To Remove Police From High Schools 

The #Chicago Board of Education recently decided to remove police from 39 high schools in the upcoming fall. This decision comes after a school board attempt to end a contract with Chicago's Police Department was nixed in 2020. 

Essence Jade Gatheright stood amidst fellow student organizers ahead of Thursday's board meeting, expressing her hope for a departure from the dramatic 4-3 vote that occurred four years prior when she was a high school junior. Nevertheless, she felt compelled to attend, determined to advocate for the redirection of resources towards alternatives to policing.

"Just because we remove the [officers] doesn't mean that they are going to invest in our schools," she said. "And we want to think about what that looks like in practice."

The board resolution urged CPS to discontinue the school resource officer program by the beginning of the upcoming school year. Instead, it proposed developing a policy centered on a comprehensive approach to student safety aimed at tackling the underlying causes and factors contributing to disparities in student discipline.

Emphasizing the importance of assisting students in healing from trauma, resolving conflicts through restorative justice, and rekindling the interest of disengaged students in schooling, the board emphasized these as its primary priorities.

Over the years, students have protested against police presence in schools, citing data revealing disproportionate policing of Black children and those with disabilities. Research has also highlighted the detrimental effects of involving children in the criminal justice system.

As the community continues to push for transformative change, the decision to remove police from schools represents a step towards dismantling oppressive structures and fostering a safer, more equitable learning environment for all students.


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