Cheapnail Salons Nearme

Chicago Public Schools Finalizes Policy to Prohibit Police Presence, Faces Potential Legislative Overturn


CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools wants to get one step closer to a new school safety policy. This comes after the Board of Education voted in February to end the school year with no marked Chicago Police Department officers in any of the district’s schools.

This Thursday, the district will show a new “Whole School Safety Framework” for the Board to okay. But this week there is also a vote on a state bill that could have more power than the district’s plans. If HB5008 is signed into law by Rep. Mary Gill (D-Chicago), high school Local School Councils would be able to hire school resource officers (SROs) straight from the Chicago Police Department until February 2027.

The disagreement between state and local policies is the newest part of a long-running argument about whether leaving cops out of schools should be done across the board or school by school.

The district’s $10.3 million contract with the CPD ends in August. Until then, SROs will only be in about a quarter of the district’s high schools, where LSCs have chosen to have one or two officers on watch during the school day. District-wide SRO programs will end at the end of this school year, according to the new policy. However, CPS will continue to work with CPD, “which have always and will continue to provide critical support for all of our schools.”

Board members said in February that the vote to get rid of SROs was in line with a promise made by the district to stop using them by 2020. They also said that a central decision was needed to stop the known differences in school-based arrests from happening again. A report from 2023 by Georgetown Law says that about 70 school districts across the country have made it illegal for cops to be in schools.

Some people have said that LSCs should keep voting on whether to keep SROs because every school has different needs.

A new plan for school safety
A vote on Thursday will add to the “holistic” approach to school safety that CPS started using in 2020, when community groups and kids started being involved in planning for safety. The change, which was made after protests for racial justice in 2020, also let LSCs trade in SRO funds to invest in different strategies, like hiring coordinators for restorative justice.

The district released data that year on school-based arrests. It showed that 73% of those cases involved Black kids, even though they only made up 36% of the students. According to the Board’s resolution from February, calls to the police are still disproportionately higher for kids with disabilities.

According to the new policy, every school must have at least one security officer and working indoor and outdoor cameras. The number of extra officers will depend on the number of students at the school and the crime rate in the area. Schools might want to get metal detectors, and they need to have emergency plans in place, which they should practice with their kids.

In the past, CPS required that part-time security jobs be filled by sworn police officers. In June of this year, district officials said that this rule would be taken out of a new collective bargaining deal with Service Employees International Union Local 73. The district didn’t say whether that clause has been removed from a tentative agreement that was just made public with the union that represents security guards and other support workers.

Chief of Safety and Security Jadine Chou said at a Board committee meeting last week that the district’s plan will be put into action in stages and will be based on three main areas of safety: physical, mental, and relational. “That starts with a baseline assessment,” she said. “We work with our community partners and our stakeholders, like parents and students, to make sure we understand their needs.”

In later stages, school-level safety committees will be formed, and high schools will have to have monthly meetings between administrators and student reps. A group of community leaders and CPS officials will be in charge of overseeing the adoption of Whole School Safety Plans across the whole district. These plans focus on building trusting relationships between students and staff, as well as on social and emotional learning and non-punitive discipline.

Head of Safety Operations Kylie Kosmacek said last week that the new draft policy was shaped by the more than 9,000 answers to a public survey about school safety. If the Board agrees, the policy will be made public so that people can speak on it. Four community involvement events will be held in June by Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development Inc., Community Organizing and Family Issues, Mikva Challenge, and Voices of Youth in Chicago Education. These are all community-based nonprofit partner organizations of Chicago Public Schools.

In a press release, Edgar Nava, a student at Amundsen High School and member of the Whole School Safety Steering Committee, said, “We are coming together to reimagine school safety to prioritize students’ social-emotional and physical safety and well-being in a safe environment that allows us to learn and thrive regardless of the neighborhood we live in.”


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.