CHICAGO – With just a couple months left in school, Chicago police officers won’t be back in public schools.
Uniformed cops won’t be patrolling schools, but the option isn’t completely off the table going forward.
“With less than two months remaining in the school year and reduced daily in-person attendance, we feel that the presence of full-time SROs is not necessary at this time,” part of a letter to CPS families read.
The presence of CPD officers in CPS schools has been a topic of debate over the last few years.
In 2019, CPS student Dnigma Howard, then 16, was dragged down the stairs and tazed several times by Chicago police officers who worked in her school.
In a statement Monday, civil rights attorney Andrew Stroth believes the district doesn’t not need officers in schools.
“From my perspective, CPS does not need police officers in schools. The objective evidence and video in the Dnigma Howard case is an example of how the actions of officers can be detrimental to the health and well-being of our students, especially students of color. Without this video and the State’s Attorney’s prudent decision to drop the false charges, Dnigma would likely be in prison today,” he said.
Last year, the district asked local school councils about whether they wanted to go police-free. Some said yes and some said no.
“While schools will continue to have the option to participate in the SRO program next school year, we are taking a more holistic approach to school safety,” the letter stated.
The holistic approach will include a lot of community input and feedback and is based on a board of education resolution, which states schools must develop a comprehensive plan for phasing out officers.