21 of Chicago’s Local School Councils have voted to keep police so faAugust 8, 2020
By Sneha Dey, Chalkbeat Chicago
21 of Chicago’s Local School Councils have voted to keep police so far was originally published by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering public education. Sign up for their newsletters here: ckbe.at/newsletters”
More than 70 schools with police officers will need to vote by Aug. 14. Here are the definitive votes so far.
Chicago Public Schools has asked local school councils to vote on whether to keep — or remove — police on campuses.
Chicago’s school board narrowly voted against terminating a $33 million contract with the police last month. The district has said the board will revisit the vote in August. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and schools chief Janice Jackson have both resisted efforts to make a wholesale decision, preferring to leave it to individual schools.
The district has given the 70-plus schools with police officers on campuses an Aug. 14 deadline. Of the councils who have voted, a wide majority have decided to retain the police program or delay their vote for later this summer.
Chalkbeat Chicago is tracking the votes. Here is how local school councils have voted so far:
Keep police officers
Richards Career Academy High School voted 7-3 to retain school resource officers on Aug. 5
Gage Park High School voted 4-3 to keep officers in schools on Aug. 4. The following day, a Gage Park school security officer spoke out against police officers in schools, calling their presence traumatizing and a barrier to student success.
Lindblom Math and Science Academy, in Englewood, voted 6-4 to keep police in schools on Aug. 3. In a survey conducted ahead of the vote, more than half of staff respondents and more than three-quarter of parent respondents were in favor of the police.
Farragut Career Academy, in Little Village, voted unanimously to keep school resource officers. The July 30 meeting was the third unanimous vote from the council in favor of police, according to the school principal.
Taft High School voted unanimously to keep police in schools on July 28. At the council vote, Principal Mark Grishaber said the school has reformed security protocols under his tenure.
Crane Medical Preparatory High School, in a narrow vote, will keep officers in schools. On July 28, the council voted 4-3 in favor of the SRO program, with one member abstaining.
Frederick Douglass Academy High School voted unanimously to keep police on its campus on July 23.
Morgan Park High School voted unanimously to keep student resource officers on July 23.
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy voted unanimously to keep officers on July 20. Miracle Boyd, the 18-year-old girl punched by a Chicago police officer at a protest over the weekend, graduated from the school in June.
Michele Clark High School in Austin voted unanimously to keep SROs on July 16. Public comment was brief and no students spoke.
Kenwood Academy High School voted unanimously to retain police. All public comments at the council meeting spoke in favor of keeping the officers.
Marshall High School voted unanimously to keep the officers on July 14, though some observers raised questions about the reliability of the council’s voting process. A student at the Westside School was dragged down a flight of school stairs by CPD officers last year, a case that garnered national attention.
Corliss High School voted 8-1 to keep officers at its Pullman campus on July 14. Council members said officers stationed at the school had good relationships with students.
Air Force Academy High School voted unanimously to keep the SRO program on July 14.
Hubbard High School voted unanimously to retain school resource officers on July 14.
Thomas Kelly High School voted 6-4 to keep police in schools on July 13.
Harlan High School voted 4-0 in favor of the SRO program on July 9. Four council members abstained from a vote.
Chicago Vocational High School voted unanimously to keep police on its campus on July 7.
Hyde Park Academy High School voted unanimously to keep school resource officers on June 11. Just days after the vote, recent CPS graduates marched from the Hyde Park campus to Chicago Police Department’s 3rd District headquarters, calling on the mayor to withdraw police from schools.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School voted 6-3 to keep police officers in schools on June 11. One council member from a vote.
Amundsen High School voted 10-1 to retain the SRO program on June 8. The school does not plan to hold a second vote.
Remove police officers
Roberto Clemente High School voted 9-1 to remove school resource officers on July 27. Earlier this month, the council held an advisory vote against police, as well as two virtual forums to get community input.
Benito Juarez Community Academy, in Pilsen, voted 7-1 to remove police officers from the school. Three council members abstained from a vote. The council, along with students and staff, has said funding for school officers should be redirected to social workers, nurses, and restorative justice programs.
Northside College Prep was the first to definitively vote to remove officers, just days after a student demonstration at the school. The council voted 8-0 against the SRO program, with one council member abstaining. Both police officers stationed at Northside College in the past academic year have had a use of force allegation against them.
A handful of councils have delayed the decision over police in schools to get more community input. Chalkbeat Chicago and Block Club Chicago are tracking upcoming school council meetings with police on the agenda here.
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.