GRAPHIC: This map shows which local school councils have issued votes on their school resource officer (SRO) programs. Schools in red voted to remove their SROs; schools in blue voted to keep their SROs.
Chicago Public Schools leaders have left it up to local school councils to decide whether they want to continue or eliminate resource officer programs at their respective schools. With just days left to make their decisions, at least a dozen LSCs have already voted to pull police from their halls.
School councils have until this weekend to vote on their school resource officer (SRO) programs for the upcoming academic year, even though students will begin their fall learning at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A majority of schools have voted to keep their SRO programs up and running, but not all.
Last month, the LSC at Northside College Prep became the first to end its SRO program. Since then at least 11 other high schools have joined them, including Roosevelt, Uplift, Lane Tech, Curie, Clemente, Juarez, Hancock, Back of the Yards, Kelvyn Park and Mather.
Several other LSCs still have votes scheduled before the end of the week.
School districts in multiple major cities – including Milwaukee, Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver – revised or terminated their contracts with local police departments in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, which sparked nationwide calls for police reform.
The movement has gained significant steam in Chicago as well, where youth activists and some city aldermen have been pushing to get police out of schools.
The Chicago Board of Education in June narrowly voted down a motion that would have terminated the school district’s $33 million contract with the Chicago Police Department, effectively ending SRO programs across CPS.
District leaders and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, however, pushed back on that effort, expressing their belief that the decision was better made at the LSC level rather than at the CPS level.
Since then, CPS issued each LSC an SRO “tool kit” in order to help facilitate “engaging and authentic conversations” about the issue before any decisions were made. This week, CPS also announced in its latest budget that it had trimmed $18 million from its SRO spending and would instead use those funds “to support the district’s investments in high-quality instruction.”
Following the individual LSC votes, the Board of Education is scheduled to approve a new agreement with the Chicago Police Department on Aug. 26.
Below is a searchable list of LSCs and their SRO voting decisions: