Chicago Mayor Supports Removal of Police from Schools

( – The Democrat Mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, told the media he supports a plan to remove police officers from local schools.

The Chicago Board of Education proposed terminating their $10.3 million contract with the Chicago Police Department, and Mayor Johnson said he supports the plan. Chicago NPR affiliate WBEZ pointed out that nearly all the board of education members who had approved the deal with the Chicago Police Department have been replaced by new members who were appointed by Johnson.

Johnson has a history of flip-flopping on the issue of officers in schools. During his campaign for mayor, Johnson said he was against police officers on school grounds, but after he was elected, he suddenly decided that the decision of whether to have officers on school premises should be left to local school councils. However, after the George Floyd inspired protests of 2020, when the Chicago Teachers’ Union stated they were against officers in schools, Johnson reversed his position yet again.

Until this year, Local School Councils, which are comprised of teachers, parents, and students, were allowed to make the decision of whether to have school resource officers (SROs) on school grounds. However, the Chicago Board of Education removed that power from councils and now seeks to remove all officers from schools.

The principal of Taft High School, Mark Grishaber, expressed concerns about the removal of SROs from school grounds, quoting a survey that indicates that 80-90% of students, teachers, and parents support having officers in schools.

The National Police Association has argued against this decision, suggesting that removing police officers as positive role models in schools, as well as increasing response time for incidents on school grounds, will have negative and harmful effects on students. Betsy Smith, spokeswoman for the NPA, criticized Johnson for the way he has demonized and vilified law enforcement throughout his tenure.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, over 40% of CPS high schools have no police presence.

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