CPS board to discuss resolution to take over School Resource Officer decision from local councils

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Saturday, February 17, 2024
CPS board to discuss taking jurisdiction over School Resource Officers
The Chicago Public Schools board will soon discuss a resolution to take over the decision-making on having CPD School Resource Officers in schools.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It could be the end of the road for police officers in Chicago Public Schools.

The CPS board is set to vote on a resolution next week to take the decision out of the hands of local school councils.

With Mayor Brandon Johnson supporting the move, the writing seems to be on the wall.

It is a disconcerting decision for the president of the local school council at Morgan Park High School, which voted to keep their resource officers.

"Not surprising but super disappointing," Morgan Park LSC chairwoman Carisa Parker said. "Local school councils were elected to represent the voice of the community all of the stakeholders of the school, and to hear that there is no regard to the opinions of that body is really disappointing."

RELATED | CPS principals weigh proposal to remove School Resource Officers from schools

Four years ago, the Chicago Teachers Union and allies pushed to end the contract for police in schools, demonstrating outside CPS, but lost their fight by one vote.

Next week, when Mayor Johnson's hand-picked CPS board votes on the issue, 39 CPS high schools, which currently have resource officers, will likely lose the option, effective at the end of the school year.

One Southwest Side state representative has filed a bill to counter the decision and restore the final decision making power to the school councils.

"Well, no one should take your voice away from our local community members," State Rep. Mary Gill said. "It's our job to listen to our community members here what they have to say, and we are in jobs that we are here to help."

After two recent shootings outside CPS schools, supporters of having officers inside contend it contributes to safety. They point to the positive mentoring roles the officers often have with students, and that their presence helps build trust of police in the community.

"So, I think to not consult with this elected body is a complete and total disregard to democracy," Parker said.

Chicago Public Schools only told ABC7 that the whole school safety process will be a topic for next Thursday's board meeting, but all indications are the decision is already a done deal, and the vote will simply be a formality.