After thousands of people responded to the death of George Floyd by holding protests seeking change within law enforcement, the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education devised a proposal that would phase out school resource officers that had been assigned to work in its district. After Board members listened to the public’s thoughts regarding the proposal, members voted unanimously to end the contract it had with the Denver Police Department, according to 9NEWS.
As a result of the recent decision, the source says that “DPS school resource officers will be phased out through June 2021 and the district will rely on its own security team.”
After the decision was made, Superintendent Susana Cordova released this statement, “George Floyd’s death, and every tragic death of Black people at the hands of law enforcement, have brought to light how we as a district can respond and do more for our students of color. I believe the board has voted on this resolution with the best interest of students at heart. There is absolutely nothing more important than all of our students feeling safe, cared for, and protected in our schools. An education does not happen without that. Our students need to trust the adults who are on our campuses with them. I appreciate the board’s forcefulness and tenacity in bringing this issue forward.”
Tay Anderson, who is a board member that was in favor of the proposal and heavily involved in the protests that were held in honor of George Floyd, said “school resource officers unfairly target students of color, and make them wary of law enforcement early in their lives.” He added, “We want to make sure all students in all of our schools, especially our students of color, feel safe and protected.”
The news source says that there were 17 school resource officers working in the district, many of which who were assigned to larger high schools and middle schools. DPS was paying the DPD approximately $721,403 each year for these school resource officers, however, the source says the money will now be used to “increase the number of social workers, psychologists, restorative justice practitioners, and mental/behavioral health professionals in the district.”
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