Recently the CPS Board of Education had a chance to actually be different than the appointed school boards of the past and do right by kids. They were asked to vote on a plan to give the Chicago Police Department $33 Million more dollars for employing police in schools. Out of the school board members 5 decided that investing in CPD was a good idea.
$33 Million more will given to policing. $33 Million more given to one of the most corrupt police departments in the country. The Chicago Police Department cost the city $118 Million in police misconduct cases just last year. CPD police misconduct has cost the city over half of a Billion dollars in just the last 8 years. CPD is responsible for codes of silence, black sites, sexual assaults, trauma, torture, and far too many murders.
It’s been researched and proven that having police in schools does NOT make kids safe. It allows the trauma that the police caused on the streets and in the neighborhoods to continue in our school buildings.
Many educators talk and teach their students about ending the school to prison pipeline. But the CPS Board has decided to ignore all of that. Work to end the school to prison pipeline? Nope, the School Board invested $33 Million more in it, ignoring research and student testimony from student organizations such as Good Kids Mad City and Voyces of Youth in Chicago Education.
It was reported just this summer that police in CPS had no oversight. So CPD, after being called out, “promised” to fix it. Our city already gives $4 million every day to CPD. The Justice Department called out Chicago’s Police Department and listed 100 issues within the Chicago Police Department.
Yet a group of people who claim they care about kids, ignored all of that and decided to once again invest in policing over education.
CPS teachers are in the midst of a contract negotiation. We want, in writing, things that will actually benefit our schools and students. We want, in writing, more nurses and social workers. We want counselors NOT cops in our schools. We want a librarian in every building. We want real limits on class size. We want true protections for students with special needs. Our students deserve so much more.
But at the bare minimum every student should feel safe in their school. A Chicago Police Officer does not do that.
We can make kids feel safe in schools by actually having time to work with, counsel, and educate them.
The CPS Board had a chance to change the status quo this week, but instead it decided to ignore students, community, and research. The Board backed the blue and invested in policing over education.
This is just another reason why I will be voting yes to authorize the Chicago Teachers Union to strike.
To read the the piece on Chicago Now click here