Chicago — The Board of Education passed a resolution today to end Chicago Public Schools’ contract with the Chicago Police Department. This is a step towards providing schools with the resources they need to keep students safe.

We proudly stand with Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Board of Education who made this resolution a reality. Removing SROs from schools is something Black and brown youth organizers have been fighting to accomplish for years as part of the CopsOutCPS campaign, which the Chicago Teachers Union was proud to support. We applaud Mayor Brandon Johnson for being a committed leader of our movement, meeting his campaign promises and prioritizing the needs of Black, brown, and newcomer children. This decision from the Board of Education demonstrates Mayor Johnson’s commitment to listening to our city’s students when they tell us what they need.

Nationally, disciplinary proceedings initiated by SROs are implemented more harshly and with greater frequency against students of color, particularly Black students. According to a report released by #CopsOutCPS, police assigned to CPS schools and their supervisors “have a combined total of 2,354 misconduct complaint records on file against them.” Many of the records involved the use of extreme force against Black Chicagoans, and 38 officers in schools had 20 or more misconduct complaints filed against them. Student Resources Officers (SROs) don’t create a safer environment for students. 

The Chicago Teachers Union members know that simply removing the security officers who criminalize students isn’t enough. In response to this vote, we have submitted a demand as part of our upcoming contract negotiation to bargain for safety and security after removing SROs, including trauma supports, restorative practice training and methods, appropriate personnel, and holistic safety practices. 

Our members will continue to advocate to make school a place where students are safe and able to thrive, from prioritizing Black Lives Matter at School Week, a project that grew out of the Black Lives Matter movement designed to uplift Black students, to advocating for Sustainable Community Schools. Ending this contract with the Chicago Police Department can mean increasing the number of social workers, counselors, and restorative justice programs overall in our schools. All students deserve meaningful relationships with school staff who are there to educate instead of surveil and criminalize. We will continue to advocate for redefining school safety.