Activists, CTU Urge School Board: Dump Cop Contract

Steve Miller
June 24, 2020 - 2:18 pm

Related: School Board Rejects Proposal To End Contract With Chicago Police

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A few hundred demonstrators marched and held a rally Wednesday seeking to pressure the Chicago Board of Education into ending a $33 million contract with the Chicago Police Department that places officers in public schools.

The protest, which included members of the Chicago Teachers Union, came as the school board was expected to make a decision on the issue, which has gained traction in recent weeks following the racially charged death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Proponents of removing officers from schools say the practice reinforces negative notions about minority youths and the money to pay for cops would be better spent on social workers and nurses. Critics say some officers have been overly aggressive with students.

For Amber Luczak, who has served as a student teacher at Mather High School in West Rogers Park, police did not make things safer.

“I was only there for three months student-teaching, and I saw a kid get arrested and handcuffed,” she tells WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller. “It seems absurd to not sit down with a 15-year-old and talk to them before you put them in handcuffs.”

Luczak says she thinks CPS has used police in the school as a selling point, for prospective teachers.

“I’m sure there’s a lot of ‘Well, we have to make the teachers feel safe.’”

Mayor Lightfoot has said she doesn’t support removing School Resource Officers from the Chicago Public Schools system. The CEO of CPS has suggested that Local School Councils should decide for themselves whether officers should be in their individual schools.