CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools has asked local school councils to vote on whether to keep — or remove — police on campuses.
Chicago’s school board narrowly voted against terminating a $33 million contract with the police last month. The district has said the board will revisit the vote in August. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and schools chief Janice Jackson have both resisted efforts to make a wholesale decision, preferring to leave it to individual schools.
The district has given the 70-plus schools with police officers on campuses an Aug. 14 deadline. Of the councils who have voted, most have decided to retain the police program or delay their vote for later this summer.
Chalkbeat Chicago is tracking the votes. Here is how local school councils have voted so far:
Keep police officers
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy voted unanimously to keep police officers on July 20. Miracle Boyd, the 18-year-old girl punched by a Chicago police officer at a protest over the weekend, graduated from the school in June.
Michele Clark High School in Austinvoted unanimously to keep SROs on July 16. Public comment was brief and no students spoke.
Kenwood Academy High School voted unanimously to retain police. All public comments at the council meeting spoke in favor of keeping the officers.Become a Chalkbeat sponsor
Marshall High School voted unanimously to keep the officers on July 14, though some observers raised questions about the reliability of the council’s voting process. A student at the West Side School was dragged down a flight of school stairs by CPD officers last year, a case that garnered national attention.
Corliss High School voted 8-1 to keep officers at its Pullman campus. Council members said officers stationed at the school had good relationships with students.
Amundsen High School voted to retain the SRO program in June. The school does not plan to hold a second vote.
Remove police officers
Benito Juarez Community Academy, in Pilsen, voted 7-1 to remove police officers from the school. The council, along with students and staff, has said funding for school officers should be redirected to social workers, nurses, and restorative justice programs.
Northside College Prep was the first to definitively vote to remove officers, just days after a student demonstration at the school. The council voted 8-0 against the SRO program, with one council member abstaining. Both police officers stationed at Northside College in the past academic year have had a use of force allegation against them.
A handful of councils have delayed the decision over police in schools to get more community input. Chalkbeat Chicago and Block Club Chicago are tracking upcoming school council meetings with police on the agenda here.
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools. Sign up for its newsletter here.