Student activists have convened series of actions this week to urge CPS, Lightfoot to follow in footsteps of school districts in Minneapolis, Portland OR and replace cops in schools with trauma supports, restorative justice programming, counselors, social workers.
- Pre-caravan press availability: 10:00 a.m., TODAY, Sat., June 6 via Zoom. Reporters should email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 312-446-4939 for link.
- Car caravan/march: Rally 10:30 a.m. at two schools: Kelly HS, 4316 S. California; Harper HS, 6520 S. Wood. Contingents to converge at Gage Park HS, 5630 S Rockwell, for rally. March, caravan, speakers’ programs will be livestreamed via CTU Facebook page.
CHICAGO—Calls to take police out of schools are growing across the nation, with school districts from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon cancelling their contracts with police departments. Student activists and grassroots community groups are demanding that CPS do the same.
The Chicago Teachers Union is joining with students and grassroots groups today at 10:30 a.m. in a caravan and march from two high schools—Harper and Kelly—and converge and rally at Gage Park high school to demand that police officers be removed from schools. Organizers and activists will hold a pre-caravan press availability at 10:00 a.m. with students and teachers to lay out their concerns and demands, which include cancelling the CPD contract with CPS; funding for restorative practices in all schools; social workers and student support personnel for every school; City Council implementation of the Civilian Police Accountability Council; support for the Right to Recovery legislative package; and a commitment from CPS to work with grassroots groups and the CTU to create sustainable community schools across the district.
Research shows police in schools criminalize Black and Brown students and exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline. But last year, CPS spent $33 million to fund police in public schools—instead of investing in restorative justice supports, trauma services, and hundreds of desperately needed nurses, counselors and social workers. That $33 million could instead have funded more than 65 additional sustainable community schools that provide desperately needed trauma supports, restorative justice, and other vital student needs.
On Friday, Lightfoot dismissed students’ demands to remove police from schools. Students and allies are responding by ratcheting up their campaign to push CPS to change its distorted policing and funding priorities and support student needs instead of cops in our schools. Activists are using the hashtags #CopsOutCPS, #CounselorsNotCops, #PoliceFreeSchools and #BlackLivesMatter at today’s action.