www.sitesafetynet.orgIn a landmark decision that signifies a significant shift in the approach to school safety, the Chicago Board of Education has unanimously voted to remove all school resource officers (SROs) and Chicago police officers from the city’s public schools. Effective from the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year in August, this change will see Chicago police officers stationed only outside of school campuses, marking a departure from previous practices. Site|SafetyNet℠ brings this news to our dedicated K-12 school audience, underscoring the evolving landscape of school safety measures and the importance of keeping our educational communities informed of significant policy shifts.
The decision by the Chicago Board of Education comes nearly four years after the murder of George Floyd. This event sparked nationwide debates over the role of police in various societal sectors, including education. In response to the ensuing dialogue and calls for reform, the board had previously elected to maintain its SRO program, albeit with a significantly reduced budget—from $33 million down to a current allocation of $10.5 million. This latest move to completely phase out police presence within schools underscores a commitment to exploring and implementing alternative strategies for ensuring safety and security in educational settings.
This policy change reflects a broader trend across the United States, where districts have grappled with the role of SROs in schools. While some districts removed officers in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, many faced challenges that led to the reinstatement of police presence, albeit in modified forms. Chicago’s decision to relocate police presence to the periphery of school campuses aims to balance the need for security with creating a supportive and non-intimidating learning environment for students.
In lieu of SROs, the Chicago Board of Education is championing a new “holistic” plan for school safety that seeks to address the underlying causes and contributing factors to school issues. Over the coming months, detailed plans will be developed to outline this new approach, focusing on preventive measures, student support, and community engagement to ensure a safe and conducive learning environment.
SiteSafetyNet℠ Safety AssessmentsAdditionally, to further improve the operational aspects of school safety and environment, the board voted to end its relationship with Aramark, the janitorial company previously providing cleaning services to the district, and transition to new vendors. This decision addresses concerns over the quality of cleaning services. It reflects the broader commitment to ensuring all aspects of the school environment contribute to the safety and well-being of students and staff.
As Site|SafetyNet℠ continues to monitor and report on developments in school safety policies and practices, we remain dedicated to providing our community with timely, relevant, and insightful information. The shift in policy by the Chicago Board of Education represents a significant moment in the ongoing dialogue about the best ways to ensure the safety of our schools while fostering an environment conducive to learning and growth.

Protecting Our Students, Inc.

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