Aldermen To Introduce Ordinance Terminating CPD's Contract With CPS

Bernie Tafoya
June 16, 2020 - 7:43 am
Police in school
CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago aldermen filed an ordinance Monday that would terminate the Chicago Police Department’s $33 million contract with Chicago Public Schools, with massive public protests against police violence continuing in neighborhoods across the city.
The aldermen plan to introduce the ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting that would permanently end the relationship between the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Public Schools.
The Police Free Schools Ordinance, which is being introduced by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward), Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th Ward), and Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), instructs the Police Superintendent to terminate the intergovernmental agreement between the city of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Education within 75 days of its passage. The ordinance also prohibits the city and the superintendent from entering into any future school security agreements with the CPD and the Board of Education.
“For years, parents, teachers and students have questioned why police are in schools,” 20th Ward Alderperson Jeanette Taylor said, in a statement. “The trauma and harm that was done by this practice can never be erased. The money we spend on CPD in CPS can be used for a nurse, counselor, and real restorative justice programs that our students will need once returning to school.”
According to the aldermen, the ordinance is being introduced as part of the #PoliceFreeSchools week of action, in which black and Latinx youth from across the city are continuing to demand that public officials divest from policing and the school to prison pipeline, and instead invest in restorative justice and student resources instead.
“The police who are violently assaulting protestors are the same ones who profile and harass us in our schools. We need true safety and police free schools now.” said Dream Cannon, a junior at Lindblom Math and Science Academy and organizer with Assata's Daughters, in a statement.
The ordinance is part of the yearslong work of groups in the #CopsoutCPS coalition, that includes over 30 active and endorsing organizations, fighting to remove cops out of CPS.
“I'm fighting for cops out of CPS because we deserve support and resources, no criminalization and abuse,” said Jennifer Nava, a senior at Thomas Kelly High School and organizer with Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. “Because schools are supposed to be safe for youth, not where they go to be exposed to the school to prison pipeline.”
According to the Sun-Times, until this school year, there hadn’t been a uniform set of rules for cops in schools. CPS and CPD held a series of community input sessions last year to establish guidelines for the program in an attempt to allay concerns. Officers last summer also got specific training on working with students and in a school setting, which at the time was the first such training in at least a decade, officials said.
CPS has left the choice to remove officers up to each individual Local School Council, an elected body of parents, teachers and community members.