The Chicago Teachers Union is supporting calls to end the controversial practice of stationing police in Chicago public schools. The CTU said it’s taking part today in a caravan and rally with students and community groups that want CPS to cancel its contract with Chicago police.
After gathering at two schools to begin a march and caravan this morning, demonstrators planned to converge at Gage Park High School. Opponents of police in classrooms contend that instead of fostering a safe environment, they increase tension and fear. And some critics believe the millions spent on police in schools could go to education.
“Those resources could be better utilized in classrooms like mine, in classrooms that are in the arts and other things that help facilitate social and emotional learning,” said Quinten Washington, a CPS music teacher at today’s demonstration.
More than 75% of Chicago’s 93 district-run high schools have police stationed inside them. The Chicago Board of Education approved an agreement to pay the police $33 million each year for the school resource officers. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot yesterday rejected calls to remove police stationed in schools. She said the police-in-schools program improved last year when the roles and responsibilities of officers were clarified.