OAKLAND (KPIX 5 / CBS SF) – After about two hours of debate, the Oakland School Board voted unanimously tonight to remove the Oakland Unified School District Police Department from campuses.
The “George Floyd Resolution” eliminates the school district police force of 10 sworn officers and 50 unarmed campus security officers.
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The Council also added several changes to the final proposal. One requires the superintendent to ensure that all staff receive training.
Citing the disproportionate arrests of black students by the Oakland School Police, as well as “the district’s obligation to promote the healthy development of each of its students” and the many alternative ways to manage discipline within schools , the council ordered the superintendent to take necessary measures to eliminate the department.
From the 2015-16 to 2019-2020 school year, black students accounted for 73% of arrests at the city’s schools, but only 26% of enrollments, according to the resolution.
This “preventive policing,” according to the resolution, undermines the economic and public health of Oakland’s black community and restricts access to graduation and opportunities.
The member-led community organization, Black Organizing Project, drafted the resolution and called the vote a “historic moment.”
“We are overwhelmed with emotion and filled with gratitude for this historic victory. We thank the Board of Directors for taking this monumental milestone, as well as the black youth and parents, as well as community and administrative partners who have fought with us to make this possible, ”BOP said in a statement.
Supporters gathered in a rally on Wednesday afternoon.
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“Today, with a school board vote, we can not only have schools without police, but turn our school security guards into custodians of the culture on our campus,” said Mike Hutchinson of the Journey for Justice Alliance.
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For Oakland activists, this has been a goal for years; the dissolution of school police officers for the benefit of a greater number of social workers.
“So a full-time counselor in each school, a full-time social worker in each school, a full-time restorative justice coordinator in each school,” said Carrie Anderson, resolution supporter, grade 3 teacher. in Oakland.
A voice of skepticism ahead of Wednesday night’s vote was California Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond.
“I am aware that there are some districts in our state that have experienced this action already, long before this conversation,” Thurmond said on a conference call with reporters. “Many of these school districts have made the decision to cut all of their School Resource Officer programs, but they have not created an alternative program. And what they found, as a result, had to go back to the same model of policing on campus. “
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“We are on a trajectory of schools without police in the future,” Hutchinson said.
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Now that the resolution has been approved, the school police would be out before the start of the next school year. What exactly will replace the policy remains to be determined. The resolution calls for a “community-driven process” that would develop a new security plan, no later than August 21.