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PNS Daily Newscast - September 30, 2020 


Trump and Biden square off in a debate marked by interruptions; COVID-19 highlights neglect of undocumented residents.


2020Talks - September 30, 2020 


Last night was filled with interruptions at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

"We Demand Change": A Call to Get Police Out of Chicago Schools

Alderman Roderick Sawyer of Chicago's 6th Ward introduced an ordinance that would end the Chicago Public Schools' security agreement with the Chicago Police Department. (VOYCES)
Alderman Roderick Sawyer of Chicago's 6th Ward introduced an ordinance that would end the Chicago Public Schools' security agreement with the Chicago Police Department. (VOYCES)
June 17, 2020

CHICAGO -- Amid the intensifying appeals to rethink the role of police in cities across the country, there's a new push to end the police presence in Chicago schools.

An ordinance announced Tuesday calls for Chicago Public Schools to terminate its $33 million contract with the Chicago Police Department. At a news conference, advocacy groups for education and racial justice spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance, including Carlil Pittman, a youth organizer for the Southwest Organizing Project.

"We demand that things change," he said. "With this legislation being introduced, we expect and demand for the city to follow behind, because these young people here today are not the same young people that was here when I grew up. These young people will not take no for an answer."

The Police Free Schools Ordinance also would prohibit the city and the superintendent from entering into any future school security agreements with the CPD and the Board of Education. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said the city would not end the schools' contract with the police department.

Supporters of the ordinance contend police officers in schools contribute to criminalizing conduct of black and brown students, as well as unnecessary use of force. CPS alumna Meyiya Coleman, an organizer for VOYCE (Voices of Youth in Chicago Education), said students would be better served through expanded mental- and behavioral-health supports.

"We are asking for a team that helps build safer schools. This includes restorative justice practices and professional peacemakers, and more," she said. "Our schools are not a threat. Our students are not criminals."

Alderman Roderick Sawyer of the 6th Ward, who introduced the ordinance, noted that more than 2,000 misconduct complaints have been filed against CPD officers stationed in schools.

"I understand the mayor's position, and I have great respect for her, but we have to look at what the facts are," he said. "The facts are stating that over 2,000 people have gotten records, as reports of misconduct. All of these things that are happening to our children in schools."

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, Chicago Public Schools had the highest reported number of school-based arrests of any school district in the country during the 2015-2016 school year.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL