Minneapolis public schools have voted to end the schools’ ties with the police department following the death of George Floyd. The decision came Tuesday and will terminate the district’s contract with the Minneapolis police department to use officers to provide school security.
What We Know:
- The Minneapolis superintendent said he would begin work on an alternative plan to keep the district’s more than 35,000 students safe in the coming school year.
- “We cannot continue to be in partnership with an organization that has the culture of violence and racism that the Minneapolis police department has historically demonstrated,” Nelson Inz, one of the school board members, said. “We have to stand in solidarity with our black students.”
- While the vote does not bring justice for Floyd, “it will show that meaningful change is possible,” Nathaniel Genene, the school board’s student representative, said.
- Genene said an online survey of Minneapolis students had received more than 1,500 responses, and about 90% of them supported terminating the district’s contract with the police.
- Public schools “cannot partner with organizations that do not see the humanity in our students”, Minneapolis school board member Josh Pauly, who helped draft the resolution, wrote on Twitter last week.
- The Minneapolis teachers union had endorsed the change, calling for the city’s schools to “cut all financial ties” with the police department, and to invest in additional mental health support for students instead.
- “The officers of the Minneapolis police department have become symbols of fear to the children those officers were sworn to serve and protect,” two local union officials said in a statement last week.
During the school board meeting, several members praised the work of individual police officers who had served in Minneapolis public schools as “school resource officers” and said at least a few of the officers did have deep, meaningful community relationships that would be missed.