Chicago police will be out of schools next fall. It’s up to the district to make the move work.

The Chicago Board of Education’s vote last week to remove police from those high schools that still have them was a vote for ideology over practicality.


We don’t disagree with that ideology. In the world of what-ought-to-be-someday, school discipline and safety wouldn’t involve law enforcement at all. There’s reliable evidence, as those opposed to cops in schools have pointed out, that the presence of police increases the chances that Black students, more than others, will be arrested. And the 39 Chicago high schools that have opted thus far keep police are mostly majority-Black schools, which too often lack the resources to engage students and keep them out of trouble. Those factors are among the reasons why we support working with schools to adopt proven alternative discipline strategies — at their own pace.


But meanwhile, in the world of what-is-right-now, administrators, and probably a good number of parents, at those 39 high schools still believe their officers play a valuable role in maintaining teens’ safety. Maybe the officer assigned to their school is a positive adult authority figure, not just “another cop,” and and has the right training to work with young people. Local school councils should have the authority to make the final determination. Since 2019, most schools opted to get rid of police anyway when given the opportunity, and have been given funds to support alternatives. The goal was being achieved, step by step.



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