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The Chicago Teachers Union stands in solidarity with student protesters challenging Chicago Public Schools’ use of public funds to militarize their schools.

CHICAGO, June 4, 2020—CTU President Jesse Sharkey issued the following statement today in support of today’s student mobilization in Chicago against police violence and abuse.

“Last year, CPS took $33 million from classrooms to pay for police in schools. Those funds should have been invested in school nurses, social workers, counselors and trauma supports in school communities suffering from trauma and economic hardship. Instead,
CPS continues to channel resources into policing, making students feel even
less safe and undermining their education.

“This must end. Our students need adequately resourced public schools that provide education, nurturing and support. This week, the Minneapolis school district voted to terminate its contract with the police department and defund policing in their schools. On Wednesday, Los Angeles’ mayor announced that he’ll look to cut the city’s police budget and invest those funds instead in long-neglected communities of color. These are the steps our district and the City of Chicago need to take.

“Students see themselves and their friends in the desperate pleas of George Floyd. They know that any one of them could be subject to that kind of extrajudicial lynching—even in their schools. They feel the lash of racist policing and white supremacy every day—in their disinvested neighborhoods, neglected school communities, lack of opportunities, and depression-era levels of unemployment.

CPS students are marching today to demand the same from CPS and the mayor who runs our schools. We stand with those students, we support them, and we join them in demanding that we replace repressive policing in our schools with the support they need and deserve.”

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, over 350,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at www.ctulocal1.org.