CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools asked local school councils at more than 70 schools to vote on whether to keep — or remove — police on campuses. The votes are in, with the majority of schools deciding to keep school resource officers.
On Aug. 26, Chicago’s school board will vote on whether to renew its contract with the police. The district narrowly voted against terminating its $33 million contract with the police in June, with plans to revisit before the start of the school year. That contract may see spending cuts by half for the next fiscal year, according to a budget proposal unveiled Monday.
Councils had a Friday deadline to vote on police. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and schools chief Janice Jackson have resisted efforts to make a wholesale decision, preferring to leave it to individual schools.
According to the district’s vote tally, 54 campuses chose to keep officers and 17 chose to remove them, with one council having to meet again Monday after a previous vote did not count.
But not every decision was up to a council. Six schools don’t have functioning councils, and leaders were supposed to consult with parents and educators to make a decision. Of those, five registered a decision to keep officers.
Meanwhile, at 17 schools, councils had members, but did not have enough of them to register a final vote, which means any vote they took was considered advisory. According to district rules, in this case, the principal and the area network chief made the final decision. Only two of the 17 ultimately decided to remove officers.
Chalkbeat Chicago has tracked the votes. Here is how local school councils have voted:
Remove police officers
Lincoln Park High School voted 7-3 against the police program on Aug. 13.
George Washington High School voted 6-5 to remove school resource officers on Aug. 12. Every speaker at public comment was against the police program.
Senn High School narrowlyvoted to remove police from schools after a four-hour meeting. On Aug. 11, the council voted 6-6 on a motion to retain police officers, with one member abstaining. The principal received clarification from a CPS representative, who said an abstaining vote acts as vote against SROs.
Roosevelt High School voted 6-3 to end the police program on Aug. 11. The principal, who once supported police officers, voted in favor of removing officers and said his opinion has shifted.
Uplift Community High School voted 8-1 against police in schools on Aug. 11.
Curie High School, one of the largest schools in Chicago,voted 7-4 to remove school resource officers on Aug. 11.
Mather High School voted 6-4 in favor of removing police officers on Aug. 11. The vote comes less than two weeks after Mather student and teen activist Caleb Reed was gunned down in West Rogers Park.
Lane Tech College Prep High School, the largest school in Chicago, voted 9-3 to remove school resource officers on Aug. 11. Students and alumni held a rally last week to call for cops out of schools. A petition against the police has also garnered about 2,000 signatures.
Back of the Yards College Prep narrowlyvoted against police in schools. On Aug. 11, the council voted 6-5 against the SRO program.
Hancock College Prep High School voted 6-4 to remove police officers from schools on Aug. 6. Both police officers assigned to Hancock College Prep had over 50 complaints, students said at the vote.
Roberto Clemente High School voted 9-1 to remove school resource officers on July 27. Earlier this month, the council held an advisory vote against police, as well as two virtual forums to get community input.
Benito Juarez Community Academy, in Pilsen, voted 7-1 to remove police officers from the school. Three council members abstained from a vote. 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.
At 17 schools, councils did not have enough members to register a vote, but could poll membership on an advisory basis. Only two of those councils opted to remove officers: Sullivan High School and Kelvyn Park High School. Phillips Academy High School, which the district said does not have an active council, also opted to end its police program.
Keep police officers
Von Steuben High School voted 9-1 to keep school resource officers on Aug. 13.
Lake View High School voted 9-1 in favor of police in schools on Aug. 13. District leaders plan to hold another vote on the police program before the school year begins.
Simeon Career Academy voted unanimously in favor of SROs on Aug. 12. One member abstained their vote. In a survey conducted ahead of the vote, 40 percent of respondents were in favor of the police program, but some said phrasing of the questions were biased.
Lindblom Math and Science Academy, in Englewood, voted 7-4 to keep police in schools on Aug. 12. Two council members abstained from a vote. The council had voted in favor of the police program on Aug. 3.
Steinmetz High School voted unanimously in favor of keeping SROs on Aug. 12.
Whitney Young High School voted 8-5 to retain the SRO program on Aug. 12.
Westinghouse High School voted 6-4 in favor of school resource officers on Aug. 11. The council had previously voted to keep police in schools.
Schurz High School voted unanimously in favor of school resource officers on Aug. 11.
North-Grand High School voted unanimously to keep police in schools on Aug. 11.
Jones College Prep voted 7-5 to keep police in schools on Aug. 11.
John F. Kennedy High School voted 7-1 to retain its SRO program on Aug. 10.
Wells Community Academy High School, in West Town, voted 5-4 in favor of police in schools on Aug. 10.
Solorio Academy High School, in Gage Park, voted 7-1 in favor of school resource officers on Aug. 7. In a survey sent to community members ahead of the vote, a majority of student respondents were in favor of the police.
Richards High School voted 7-3 to retain school resource officers on Aug. 5
Gage Park High School voted 4-3 to keep officers in schools on Aug. 4. The following day, a Gage Park school security officer spoke out against police officers in schools, calling their presence traumatizing and a barrier to student success.
Farragut Career Academy, in Little Village, voted unanimously to keep school resource officers on July 30.
Harper High School voted 5-3 in favor the police program on July 30.
Taft High School voted unanimously to keep police in schools on July 28. At the council vote, Principal Mark Grishaber said Taft has reformed security protocols under his tenure.
Crane Medical Preparatory High School, in a narrow vote, will keep officers in schools. On July 28, the council voted 5-2 in favor of the SRO program, with one member abstaining.
Frederick Douglass Academy High School voted unanimously to keep police on its campus on July 23.
Morgan Park High School voted unanimously to keep school resource officers on July 23.
Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy voted unanimously to keep 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.
Corliss High School voted 8-1 to keep officers at its Pullman campus on July 14. Council members said officers stationed at the school had good relationships with students.
Air Force Academy High School voted unanimously to keep the SRO program on July 14.
Hubbard High School voted unanimously to retain school resource officers on July 14.
Thomas Kelly High School voted 6-4 to keep police in schools on July 13.
Chicago Vocational High School voted unanimously to keep police on its campus on July 7.
Hyde Park Academy High School voted unanimously to keep school resource officers on June 11. Just days after the vote, recent CPS graduates marched from the Hyde Park campus to Chicago Police Department’s 3rd District headquarters, calling on the mayor to withdraw police from schools.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Preparatory High School voted 6-3 to keep police officers in schools on June 11. One council member from a vote.
Amundsen High School voted 10-1 to retain the SRO program on June 8. The school does not plan to hold a second vote.
At some schools, councils didn’t have enough members to register a vote, but they could poll membership on an advisory basis. Of those, 15 decided to keep officers: Austin College and Career Academy, Bogan High School, Bowen High School, Carver Military Academy, Chicago Military Academy, Dunbar Vocational High School, Foreman Career Academy, Harlan High School, Hirsch Metro High School, Julian High School, Little Village Academy, Marshall High School, Orr Academy, Tilden High School, and Williams Medical Prep High School.
There were 9 schools that had an inactive council or no council at all. All but one of those registered school leadership’s decision to keep officers: Al Raby High School, Bronzeville High School, Collins Academy High School, Fenger Academy High School, Manley Career Academy High School, Dyett High School, Englewood STEM High School, and CICS-Ellison Charter School.
Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.