Chicago Protesters Demand Removal of Police From Schools

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[Police In Schools]
Taylor: “Have any of you sitting on the CPS board ... seen a student carried out of a school in handcuffs? In elementary school? My son has. And is that what we’re teaching them? How to put their hands behind their back?”
Photo: YouTube

Six-year-old Kai Rolle shown here after she was arrested in school. What's wrong with this picture?

Ahead of a highly anticipated vote Wednesday by Chicago’s school board on whether to remove police officers from public schools, students and activists are holding protests across the city, including in front the board president’s house, to give one final push toward police-free schools.

The vote to end a $33 million contract between Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Police Department was a surprise item included earlier this week on the Board of Education’s monthly meeting agenda. If the resolution to kick more than 200 officers out of about 70 schools passes Wednesday afternoon, it’ll go against the wishes of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and top CPS leadership, who have said they want each individual school to decide for themselves whether they want officers.

Several aldermen called into the online meeting to voice their opinions on the issue, which proves to be one of the most significant decisions the school board has made in years. In all, eight aldermen — Jeanette Taylor, Howard Brookins, Byron Sigcho-Lopez, Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez, Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Andre Vasquez, Matt Martin and Maria Hadden — urged the board to end the police contract. Five of their City Council counterparts — Pat Dowell, David Moore, Derrick Curtis, Christopher Taliaferro and Nicholas Sposato — called to say they prefer officers remain in schools.

“Young people have told you from the very beginning, the young people that we claim to love, the young people that you are you claiming you’re so glad they’re graduating and congratulating, they’re on the phone telling you, they’re calling you to say that police do not need to be in schools,” Taylor passionately argued. “Have any of you sitting on the CPS board ... seen a student carried out of a school in handcuffs? In elementary school? My son has. And is that what we’re teaching them? How to put their hands behind their back?”

Sigcho-Lopez told the board that “unequivocally, this is a no-brainer” to remove police from schools. He pointed to the trauma faced by CPS student Dnigma Howard, who was 16 years old when she was shoved down a set of stairs and stunned with a Taser by Chicago police officers stationed in Marshall Metropolitan High School in a January 2019 incident that drew national headlines.

“A 16-year-old. I want to make sure you remember these words so you understand how this policy works and affects our youth,” Sigcho-Lopez said. “A police officer was screaming at the father of a special education child, a 16-year-old Black teenager, ‘Your daughter is going to jail.’ Now, is this the type of policy that we want to see in our schools?

“It’s immoral. It’s wrong. There’s no justification,” he said. “People are watching. People are seeing our decisions."

For the rest of this Chicago Sun*Times article log on to: https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2020/6/24/21301349/chicago-public...

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