Chicago Board of Ed Votes Unanimously to Remove Officers from Schools

The Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously to remove school resource officers from its schools at the start of the next school year. One official said it was "to focus on alternative systems of safety that create that physical and emotional safety."

Thursday evening the Chicago Board of Education voted unanimously to remove school resource officers from its schools at the start of the next school year.

A resolution passed by the board removes the SROs and instead will create a comprehensive school safety policy for Chicago Public Schools, reports 5Chicago.

The district has had school resource officers since 1991, but currently they are only in 30 of the district’s 634 schools.

“Today’s resolution is fulfilling the board’s commitment to focus on alternative systems of safety that create that physical and emotional safety that we heard earlier shared by so many young people,” board member Mariela Estrada said during the meeting, according to KRCG.

The full video of the meeting is available on the Chicago Public Schools YouTube page.

Alderman Nicholas Sposato, of the Chicago City Council, termed the school board’s action as a “reckless idea.” He was not alone in criticism. At least two other council members voiced concerns, with one recommending the school board give principals an option to have security resource officers.

A former school board member, Dwayne Truss, said the move by the board of education was done without seeking public input while also noting that students feel safer with the presence of officers.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said his staff will be developing a policy and will seek public input at that point. The new policy will be voted on for approval by the board at the end of June.

The school district this year, and in recent years, has budgeted $10 million for school resource officers.

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