Chicago Board of Education votes to remove resource officers from Chicago Public Schools

The Chicago Board of Education is in agreement to remove school resource officers (SROs) from Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

"To truly achieve our goal of whole school safety, we must look beyond a narrow set of physical safety protocols and include emotional support for all children and trusting relationships between CPS students and adults," the board said in a letter to the CPS community. 

The board cast their votes on Thursday in favor of a new "Whole School Safety Policy," which will eliminate the use of school resource officers.

The plan will be presented to the Board of Education for final approval this summer. If approved, it will go into effect at the start of the 2024-25 school year. 

Thirty-nine of CPS' 91 high schools are currently utilizing SROs this school year. Elementary schools within the district do not have SROs.  

"We want to be clear that many schools will still employ physical safety personnel like security guards at points of entry, and crossing guards and Safe Passage workers to ensure students can get to and from school safely," the board said in the letter. "Some schools will also continue to use physical security tools such as security cameras or metal detectors. Furthermore, each school will still maintain a relationship with their local Chicago Police Department "School Sergeant," a position assigned to each police district to provide safety support to schools."

RELATED: Debate continues over resource officers in Chicago Public Schools

The funding for the SRO program will be reallocated for "alternative safety positions, resources, and interventions," according to the board. 

This may include the following: 

  • Restorative justice coordinators and youth intervention specialists
  • Professional development for staff, including training in de-escalation strategies
  • Wrap-around supports and mentoring programs
  • Re-engagement, healing-centered, and restorative discipline practices

The district's new "Whole School Safety Policy" will be discussed and created in the new few months. 

We'll bring more details as they become available.