Police officers stationed in Chicago Public Schools operate with little oversight, accountability, and specialized training—a practice that puts children at serious risk of being funneled into the criminal justice system.
February 1, 2017
Police officers stationed in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) operate with little oversight, accountability, and specialized training—a practice that puts children at serious risk of being funneled into the criminal justice system, according to this report by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law.
Handcuffs in Hallways: The State of Policing in Chicago Public Schools, published in February 2017, came amid growing national concern over the school-to-prison pipeline and investigations by federal officials and journalists that detailed Chicago police misconduct with youth, especially those of color.
As the report details, School Resource Officers (SROs), or law enforcement officers permanently assigned to schools, are not required to undergo any specialized training for interacting with children. Moreover, SROs operate within CPS with little oversight or accountability for their actions. This has lead to poor outcomes for students, particularly students of color, impairing their ability to learn and develop, imperiling their civil rights, and increasing their likelihood of being swept into the criminal justice system.
Young leaders, families, teachers, and advocates throughout Chicago have been relying on this data and their lived experiences to prove to us all that police officers in schools cause harm, don’t make them feel safe, and disproportionately impact Black and Brown students and families in negative, life altering ways. We unequivocally join them in advocating for #policefreeschools. The data is clear — police do not belong in Chicago Public Schools — and the $33 million contract between CPS and the Chicago Police Department needs to be terminated. Chicago should join other cities like Denver, Minneapolis, and Oakland. Read our recent statement.