Chicago high schools to decide whether to keep police officers on premises

Chicago public high school leaders have to decide if they want to continue or opt out of having Chicago police officers on duty in their buildings.

Jones College Prep in the South Loop is one school that decided to end the use of school resource officers.

Schools were previously assigned two SRO’s and the officers are paid for by the district.

In the 1990s, the police were assigned to deter gang activity and campus violence. Some schools experienced more tension and intimidation directed towards students.

There were protests last summer after the police-involved murder of George Floyd. Some protestors were arrested outside CPS headquarters. The district responded and decided to give school communities the power to make their own decision about school resource officers.

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Local school councils must decide Wednesday whether to retain the two officers, keep just one, or opt-out of the program.

Jones, Lane Tech, Von Steuben and Lincoln Park high schools have opted out. King, Hyde Park & Englewood STEM decided to keep one officer.

School activists say they want the money spent on social workers, nurses and counseling department support. They say those things create a safe school environment.