We’ve Been Defunding Schools for Years to Fund Police – Cancel the CPS-CPD Contract
today at 6:16 pm
In 2007, when I started teaching at TEAM Englewood High School, a student told me about how his house was broken into. I asked if the police had any leads, he said the police hadn’t come, even though they called them yesterday. I heard more stories from my students about issues with the police. I also noticed that police were stationed in the school building and wondered about how my students felt.
Schools in Chicago have been purposefully defunded for so long that school communities have become desperate for any help, so we let the police into our schools. This choice caused the school to prison pipeline. It is pure and simple, backed by a plethora of research and confirmed by the pleas of students who have been organizing to get police free schools for years.
A child with trauma doesn’t get the ability to work daily with a therapist, they get police. We have 4 crisis counselors for over 350,000 students, but 144 cops in schools.
Problems with police in schools:
- Negatively impacts students academic success
- Students with special needs are 3x’s more likely to be arrested
- Latinx students are 6x’s more likely to be arrested
- Even though Black students make up 40% of CPS student population they accounted for 60% of arrests
Every time CPD has been proven to harm Chicagoans on the street or in school, the city responds with ‘let’s reform police’. Instead of ‘let’s try investing in our communities or schools’. Chicago is spending $1.6 Billion on police. $33 million to police our students in schools. We have reformed CPD for generations.
People argue that police are good role models for our students, but you know who is a good role model? Black educators. Chicago, through school closings and discriminatory hiring practices, removed thousands of Black educators. You want role models? Hire Black educators, and yes they are out there.
People argue that police keep us safe from school shooters. Fear clouds facts. Police in schools don’t prevent school shooters.
People say police keep students and teachers safe in “tough” schools. Why do tough schools exist? Because kids attending schools that are under-resourced and that come from communities that have been defunded don’t have supports in place to help them. The toughest kids I have worked with all wanted support and to be successful. They just didn’t have what they should’ve had. That $33 million contract comes out to $90,000 a day. We can do things differently. We could provide our schools with conflict resolution specialists and therapists. Resources to actually help our children which will then help our city.
Saving our students lives requires a disinvestment in policing and a reallocation of funds into communities and schools. I implore you to not let your fear and anecdotes erase facts, research, and the voices of our students. As a city, we can and must do better for our students. Police should not be in schools. Cancel the CPD-CPS contract and invest that $33 million into the betterment of our students’ lives. Invest in our children.
*This post was a 3 minute statement I made to the Chicago City Council Committee on Education and Public Safety about removing police from Chicago Public Schools. For more information about this topic check out CopsOutCPS.com